Civic Engagement 

This survey, conducted from 12 to 18 February 2020, focusses on citizens’ engagement with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as well as their experiences with local public consultations.

Across the EU, 47% of respondents engage with CSOs in some way, mostly by donating money (27%). For those respondents engaged with a CSO, more than one third say it deals with European issues or institutions.

Opinions are quite divided on how well CSOs inform about issues that matter to respondents. 49% of respondents say they feel informed and 46% say that they do not feel informed (46%) about the CSO’s activities. There is greater agreement, however, about the topics that should be priorities for CSOs. A majority of respondents think that CSOs should primarily deal with public health (57%), food safety (57%) and the environment (53%).

The most powerful motivators to increase engagement with CSOs are ‘being convinced that the engagement will have a real impact’ (33%), and ‘knowing how financial engagement will be used by the CSOs’ (25%). In each country, one of these two factors is mostly mentioned.

Although fewer than half of respondents are actively engaged with CSOs, the CSO communication campaigns seem to have a broader impact. Having seen such a campaign organised by CSOs, a majority of respondents ‘took concrete actions’ (55%) and ‘discussed the campaign topic with other people’ (54%).

Finally, 45% of respondents said that in the last 12 months a public consultation took place in their city or village, but only 16% participated in it. For a large majority (72%) of respondents living in an area where such consultations have been held, public consultations are considered useful activities.