Ukrainians aspire to be conscious and independent. But the conditions of building a civil society in Ukraine are still being formed. It would seem that after the Revolution of Dignity everything should fall into place. A large number of civic organizations have appeared, the Fourth Sector has begun to assert itself, and becoming a member of civil society is increasingly popular. What else is needed for civil society to stand firm?
The list of attributes of civil society seems very simple, but only at the first glance. Yes, in order to make these prerequisites a reality, there is a need for principles and mutual assistance of the various institutions and initiatives.
The attributes of civil society are:
- people, or rather the solidarity and support for each other by people who conduct public activities; it is this category that should advocate for the public interest and be a catalyst for change;
- a system of social values that are basic to all; this is about the rule of law, the constitutional preconditions for the formation of civil society in Ukraine, human rights, social protection, and much more;
- public spaces that help to unite and are a platform for communication;
- a center of communication that coordinates and informs communities;
- the existence of dialogue between government officials and citizens;
- the protection of the rights of all without exception; and
- independent initiatives and groups that are ready to fight for change.
Every citizen of a country must understand what civil society is, what is its essence, functions and attributes. It is best when the attributes of civil society are learned and understood in childhood. To clean up after your dog in the park, to organize with neighbors and make minimal repairs in the building, to hold a charity fair at the school for children and raise money for treatment for those who cannot afford it. Everything starts in our head. And only later various conditions of existence and attributes of civil society become important.
We should not forget that in times of constant challenges, most countries are trying to understand how the development of society can help solve various issues at the national or global level. Ukraine is also thinking about this issue. But it is nearly impossible to consider the conditions of existence of civil society without taking into account the complex relationship between the state and its citizens. It is specifically these relations that we should use as basis for an effective model of modern development of the country. Therefore, cooperation between the state and civil society is very important. And it requires constant and open information from the population about all processes in the state, the responsibility of government officials to the community for making certain decisions, and the possibility of public control.
The last point is an important condition for the functioning of civil society. For example, consider the recent case of cutting down trees in Podil. Residents of this district of Kyiv woke up to the fact that utility services are cutting down trees on their street. At first, the residents tried to solve this issue single-handedly. But after realizing that they could not do anything—there are documents for felling and the utility services are working according to instructions—they decided to form an initiative group and act globally. With the help of social networks, the community gathered like-minded people and submitted an appeal to the city administration, as the opinion of the community was not taken into account. Residents of Podil asked for an important consideration—for the authorities to take into account their opinion when deciding whether to cut down trees in their area. Therefore, the possibility of public control in this case would be very appropriate.
It is also worth mentioning the conditions for the formation of civil society. The main one is the presence of an independent person who wants and knows how to act independently, sees opportunities for change and ways to implement them, cannot get past injustice, and is ready to take responsibility. And the task of the state is to effectively use this resource for the development of a village, city, or country. The activity of the public sector and representatives of the “Fourth Sector,” public control and monitoring, the practice of interaction and the growing role of local communities are the main criteria needed for the development of civil society in Ukraine.