Good governance English (en) Deutsch (de) español (es)français (fr) português (pt)

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Governance refers to the rules, processes, and behaviour by which interests are articulated, resources are managed, and power is exercised in society.


The way public functions are carried out, public resources are managed and public regulatory powers are exercised is the major issue to be addressed in that context. In spite of its open and broad character, governance is a meaningful and practical concept relating to the very basic aspects of the functioning of any society and political and social systems. It can be described as a basic measure of stability and performance. As the concepts of Human rights, Democratisation and Democracy, the Rule of law, Civil society, decentralized power sharing, and sound public administration gain importance and relevance as a society develops into a more sophisticated political system, governance evolves into good governance.

Good Governance and Civil Society

Current ideas about the role of civil society in good governance draw upon a long history of political philosophy dating back to ancient Greece. For classical philosophers, civil society was synonymous with good society Governance refers broadly to the manner in which authority is exercised and decisions are made and implemented. The concept of governance can be applied to any form of authority or decision-making (at the global, societal, community, or organizational level) but it is most frequently applied to the governance of sovereign states. While there is broad consensus that governance is about more than governments, current definitions and schools of thought vary according to how much relative emphasis they place on state or nonstate actors and the relationship between them. Some definitions of governance go beyond the ‘‘state plus’’ formulation and identify shared responsibilities and relationships among state and nonstate actors as the core essence of governance.

EU external cooperation

In the realm of the EU external cooperation, the fundamental objective of poverty reduction is closely associated with the complementary objectives of promotion of good governance and respect for human rights, these being shared values underpinning the EU.