Active civil society is a characteristic of a modern developed country. The institution of civil society is a multifaceted concept. These are usually initiatives that shape public relations. These can be various organizations (public, charitable, religious), trade unions, associations, creative initiatives, non-profit media, etc. But if we talk about immediate tasks, the institution of civil society is more about involving the community in the decision-making process of the authorities, cooperation with local governments, monitoring and involvement in the education of citizens. All these organizations have a global common goal – to develop synergies between people and the state.
It should be noted that the state and the development of civil society institutions are formed through a system of social relations. That is, civil society cannot be defined by just one particular entity. This is primarily an interaction. The very concept of civil society and its institutions allows society to perform various functions, which are always based on building an effective dialogue between the state and the citizen.
Civil society and its basic institutions consist of the following systems:
- social system (formed initiatives and communities and the relationship between them);
- political (political parties, organizations and movements);
- economic (a set of market relations, businesses and organizations in enterprises);
- cultural (organizations that promote cultural and social values);
- information (communication between communities).
What are the characteristics of civil society institutions in Ukraine? These are the existence of public values, the independence of the media, the market economy, the possibility of forming independent political parties and organizations, freedom of speech and expression of public opinion, the value of every citizen. Every active citizen must understand the key features of civil society institutions, and thus identify what exactly is needed for the effective existence of civil society as a whole. In turn, CSOs and initiatives should involve the community of the village, district, city or region in their work. This will allow people to independently influence, decide and monitor the decisions that are made. In addition, the President needs to constantly cooperate with the institutions of civil society in Ukraine, as first and foremost the state and the community are partners. In this way, government officials will be able to know and understand the activities of such organizations, use the information that these teams gather to improve the functioning of the state in various fields. And the institutions themselves will see that their work really benefits and encourages change at the national level. At the same time, there is an opinion that civil society institutions can only be those initiatives and teams that criticize the government. It all depends on the tasks set by an organization.
The main tasks performed by civil society and its basic institutions:
- socialization of individual members of the community;
- self-organization of society for the implementation of initiatives;
- monitoring and control of decisions made by the authorities, and direct participation in decision-making processes.
In Ukraine, the potential of communities is being actively realized, and thus many public organizations are being created. The joint team activities, search for investors and networking assistance have become more common recently. Currently, there are only 14 public organizations per population of 10,000 registered in Ukraine, while in Hungary there are 46 public organizations per population of 10,000, and in Croatia – 85. Also, the level of charity in Ukraine remains low, because in our country only a very small percentage of the population helps other people. To improve these indicators, it is necessary to increase trust in the activities of both charitable and public organizations. The number of reactions and joins is decreasing even if information about fundraisers or initiatives is shared through the media, because the population is increasingly questioning what they see in the news. That is why empathic stories are gaining popularity now, as they help the population to see and feel the situation from the inside through the power of storytelling. If we show the complex stories of people, their difficulties and victories, inner experiences, work and life as it is, there is a chance that citizens will perceive the activities of such organizations in a completely different way.
We hope that due to the implementation of socially important projects, which are very popular today, the situation will change for the better.