4.2 Civil society
Civil society is generally recognised as the organisations which are separate from government and business but which play an important role in generating ideas and discussion about public life. They include voluntary organisations, unions, trade bodies and think tanks.
Some of the leading organisations in Welsh civil society include the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, which represents and supports third sector organisation in Wales, and the Institute of Welsh Affairs, a think-tank which states its mission as “to make Wales better”.
These organisations are very important in the policy making process. They present information, ideas and a plurality of views to legislators. However, as many of these bodies receive public funding, it can be argued that this implicitly limits their ability to criticise the government.