According to the Finnish media, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office plans to clear out around 40 000 associations from its register in 2017, since they have not reported any activity during the past years. Old civil society organisations are fading out, but it appears that at the same time new ones are established, just like our organisation AEKS. This change reflects the civil society itself; the changing needs and aspirations of the people, the communities and societies.
Civil society organisations are needed more than ever today in the globalizing world. In Finland, for example, traditionally the state has taken care of a good deal of people’s lives from cradle to grave. However, the situation is rapidly deteriorating due to the continued economic recession over the past few years. Civil society is trying to help those whose voices are not heard and needs not addressed by the state.
We can read amazing stories in newspapers how individual people make an effort to help each other of pure goodwill. For example, one mother tells helping young families and their children, who have difficulties, with food and other supplies, which she collects through social media. Often these people and civil society organisations make altruistic work to help other people in immediate need, but they do not see it important to boast around about their valuable contribution.
We in AEKS are pleased to invite you to share your good practice in civil society work. Who are the people you are supporting? What are the activities you are carrying out to help your people? We believe that making the work of civil society organisations visible and sharing good practices can greatly contribute to the development of civil societies, not only in Finland, but also across the European countries. We want to share inspiring stories about people who are brave enough to make a difference to encourage also others, in other communities and countries, to engage and innovate in activities benefiting members of civil society in Europe.