A paper examined innovative and transferable good practice examples of migrant integration practices that had been undertaken by civil society and local institutions across European member states. It said that the majority of widely publicized examples were networks of cities and urban centres, and found that key issues included: governance and funding structures; the clear understanding of needs of migrants and wider society; information sharing; and the impact of the economic downturn on integration outcomes. It concluded that civil society, with its inherent flexibility, was well placed to play a pivotal role in integration, particularly as diversity increased within the European Union.
Source: Rachel Humphris, Practising Integration in the EU: Mapping initiatives and innovations by local institutions and civil society, Institute for Research into Superdiversity (University of Birmingham)
The European Economic and Social Committee published its action plan for Europe. The plan was built on three 'pillars' to address perceived shortcomings of the European Union (an economic union, a social union, and a democratic and civic union). Proposals included greater economic and fiscal union, a new European social agenda, greater focus on social cohesion, stronger participatory democracy, and a focus on the fundamental rights of citizenship.
Source: An Action Plan for Europe, European Economic and Social Committee (European Union)
A new book examined volunteering among older people in eight European countries (including the United Kingdom), as part of a policy for active ageing. It discussed the influence of different interactions between the structural, macro, meso, and micro levels, and made policy suggestions.
Source: Andrea Principi, Per Jensen, and Giovanni Lamura, Active Ageing: Voluntary work by older people in Europe, Policy Press
An article examined the degree of input- and output-legitimacy of the European Union's participatory rights regime and, in particular, the interaction between the Fundamental Rights Agency and civil society. It said that while such co-operation had benefits in optimizing human rights, it was constrained by its embeddedness within an agency that needed also to mitigate the demands of European Union and member state institutions and organizations.
Source: Markus Thiel, 'European civil society and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency: creating legitimacy through civil society inclusion?', Journal of European Economic Integration, Volume 36 Issue 5
An article examined variations in the gender gap in associational involvement (memberships of voluntary associations) in Europe. Women in social democratic countries had the highest participation rates. There was a 'complex relationship' between societal context and the gender gap in associational involvement.
Source: Sascha Peter and Sonja Drobnic, 'Women and their memberships: gender gap in relational dimension of social inequality', Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Volume 31
An article examined philanthropic behaviour in Europe, including charitable cash donations and volunteer labour. There was a positive correlation between time and money contributions on the individual, as well as on the country, level. Individuals substituted money donations for time donations as their time offered to the market increased. There were large differences in the determinants and the relationship of time and money donations in Europe – both across different types of voluntary organizations and across different welfare regimes.
Source: Thomas Bauer, Julia Bredtmann, and Christoph Schmidt, 'Time vs. money: the supply of voluntary labor and charitable donations across Europe', European Journal of Political Economy, Volume 32
See also: Thomas Bauer, Julia Bredtmann, and Christoph Schmidt, Time vs Money: The supply of voluntary labor and charitable donations across Europe, Discussion Paper 6701, Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn)
An article examined the nature of civic engagement in Europe. It identified three main dimensions: political activism (such as political party or political action group involvement or demonstrations); involvement in voluntary associations; and political consumerism (boycotting, 'buycotting', and signing petitions). The socio-demographic profile of these activists differed from one another. In particular, political consumerism appealed more to people who had been traditionally regarded as less active, such as women, young people, and those living in urban areas. This suggested that political consumerism reduced the participation gap between different social groups and might carry important lessons for participative democracy.
Source: Necla Acik, 'Reducing the participation gap in civic engagement: political consumerism in Europe', European Sociological Review, Volume 29 Number 6