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Definition of Civil society

Civil society Definition from Government Dictionaries & Glossaries
EUROJARGON - English
This is the collective name for all kinds of organizations and associations that are not part of government but that represent professions, interest groups or sections of society. It includes (for example) trade unions, employers' associations, environmental lobbies and groups representing women, farmers, people with disabilities and so on. Since these organizations have a lot of expertise in particular areas and are involved in implementing and monitoring European Union policies, the EU regularly consults civil society and wants it to become more involved in European policymaking.
© European Communities, 1995-2004
Civil society Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
Wikipedia English - The Free Encyclopedia
The term civil society has a range of meanings in contemporary usage. It is sometimes considered to include the family and the private sphere, and referred to as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business. Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon defines civil society as 1) the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens or 2) individuals and organizations in a society which are independent of the government. Sometimes the term is used in the more general sense of "the elements such as freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, etc, that make up a democratic society" (Collins English Dictionary).

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Civil society Definition from Law Dictionaries & Glossaries
European Commission Glossary of Justice and home affairs
Voluntary and community groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trade unions, etc. The EU encourages the input of civil society in the decision-making process.
© European Communities, 1995-2004