I have lived for 18 years in Romania, and 9 years in Denmark, and i had the chance to sample how the civil society worked in both member states of the European Union.
First, i will start with the experience in Denmark (which i confirmed to be similar in other North European member states). Here the civil society is quintessential to the success of Denmark, and almost every citizen participates in it, in one form or another. There are different forms of participation, some people are members of different clubs (sports or not) and associations where they enjoy a certain service, while others are volunteers in the same clubs and associations and use their free time to provide service to other citizens.
As i am in the leadership of a youth organization, we have experienced that the world is the limit, in terms of support and funding. You can receive funding from your local municipality, from your region, from the government and from the parliament. Easy access to funding, allows youth organizations to grow and attract citizens to join and volunteer.
However, not the same can be said about the situation in Romania. I am also in the leadership of a youth organization in there, and it is very difficult to access funding, especially when none is offered from local, regional and national level.
Therefore, i suggest a European directive to be implemented in which each member state implements legislation on the development of civil society, and ensures the presence of local, regional and national funds for it. Reliance on European funds cannot always be the case as high-level of expertise is necessary to access such funds.
A part of the tax money that people pay needs to return back in form of support for the civil society, everywhere on the territory of the European Union.