For the project CONSIDER we define Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as non-governmental, generally not-for-profit, not representing commercial interests, and pursuing a common purpose for the public interest.
According to the findings of the CONSIDER project this definition is not sufficient and needs to be clarified.
The following organisations are broadly recognised as being COS: NGOs, unions, churches. Other types of organisations fulfil part of the above definition but not all of it and therefore are often not seen as CSOs, e.g. social enterprise, industry associations. Such organisations can promote the public interest and it is therefore not obvious that they have to be excluded from the field of CSOs.