The actors in the cooperation need to be placed geographically and by the type of social actors. It is obvious that we are geographically dealing with Central and Eastern Europe, though it should be noticed that the focus is mainly on the four Central European countries. Types of social actors are roughly governmental bodies, businesses and NGOs. East-East cooperation in this research is a matter of mutual NGO cooperation.
The next factor is the issue whereon the cooperation takes place, in the case of East-East cooperation we deal with environmental NGOs. On which specific environmental topic they prefer to cooperate and how they define their environmental issue is the responsibility of the East-East cooperative partner groups.
Finally the structure of the cooperation has to be defined. Is it ad hoc cooperation? Is a cooperative structure established? Can we include stable transnational alliances? Important for this research is that it focuses on individual NGOs in Central Europe who are supposed and expected to show cooperative activities. It means that all cooperation on equal organizational level is included and that all cooperative activities from simple information exchange until stable transnational alliances are included as well. Supranational organizations like Greenpeace and WWF are excluded.
After all this East-East cooperation is defined as: issue-oriented cooperation among environmental NGOs within the Central and Eastern European countries.
Figure 2.1 summarizes the steps that are taken to come to this definition of East-East cooperation.
|Type of Cooperation
External - Horizontal
Central and Eastern Europe
Non Governmental Organizations
All forms, except supranational organizations
Now we have set the definition of East-East cooperation a brief description of the forms of East-East cooperation is needed to clear up the last box of figure 2.1. Forms of cooperation, or levels of cooperation, can be divided into cooperation without and with personal contact among the cooperative partners. Non-personal contact cooperation might be the first step towards more serious cooperation. It contains information exchange, for example by reading each others leaflets. When personal contact is established cooperation can grow to a higher level, of which three forms can be seen. The first is the exchange of experiences, the second preparing and/or running a joint project and the third having sustainable long-term cooperation.
A bit besides these four forms of cooperation stays the 'stable transnational alliance' as Rucht calls for example Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) or International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). [Rucht, 1993, p. 82-84] For this research especially FoEI seems of high interest, because they successfully expanded the umbrella towards Central and Eastern Europe. We can see the stable transnational alliance as a separate fifth form of East-East cooperation. The difference between supra-national organizations like Greenpeace and WWF and the stable transnational alliance is that supra-national organizations are basically run by international steering committees and each forms a coherent body, although they are subdivided into national chapters or project-oriented transnational groups or campaigns. [Rucht, 1993, p. 84] Whereas national chapters of the umbrella FoEI have developed their own organizational forms and remained autonomous in their decisions. [Rucht, 1993, p. 83]