Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Monitoring 2019

Editors: Eva More-Hollerweger, Flavia-Elvira Bogorin, Julia Litofcenko, Michael Meyer
Publisher: ERSTE Foundation, Vienna
Content: 179 pages
ISBN: 978-3-902673-14-5
Year: 2019

Civil society and its organizations play an important social, political and economic role in democratic countries. They provide (social) services, represent interests of minorities or vulnerable groups, perform a watchdog function towards politics and public administration, and contribute to community building by involving different people, e.g. in volunteering and membership. The existence of a vivid civil society is an indicator of well-functioning democracies that give space to the full variety of different opinions, concerns and solutions. Civil society organizations (CSOs) are often established where a particular social or political concern emerges. By combining a mix of various public and private resources – such as public funds, private donations, voluntary work and membership fees – they are often a source of social innovation.

The study was conducted by the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), commissioned by and in collaboration with ERSTE foundation as well as with a group of country experts.

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Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.