16 December 2020

Dafne and EFC launch new edition of foundation law country profiles

Philanthropy Advocacy, the joint Dafne and EFC initiative, has launched the 5th edition of the “The Legal Environment for Philanthropy in Europe”. This mapping consists of country profiles detailing the legal and fiscal environment for philanthropy and foundations in each EU Member State. The profiles cover aspects ranging from establishment, to registration, to tax treatment of both donors and foundations. The EFC published the first edition of these profiles in 2002. This 5th edition is the first to be published under the joint Philanthropy Advocacy initiative.

At the launch event on 10 December, Oonagh Breen of University College Dublin moderated as foundation practitioners and legal experts outlined the many ways this mapping has been and can be used when it comes to advocating for a better legal and fiscal environment for foundations across Europe. The profiles allow for comparisons across the Member States, highlighting good practice and areas for improvement in certain countries. National associations of foundations and philanthropic actors are using these comparisons in their discussions with national-level policymakers.

A major discussion point at the launch event was cross-border philanthropy and the barriers to this that are still present, despite landmark European Court of Justice cases which have been decided in favour of the free flow of philanthropic capital across European borders. National experts presented the current state of play in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and also referred to Luxembourg as a good example to promote in this regard. Foreign funding restrictions in Hungary were flagged as being in conflict with EU law.

The first half of 2021 will see more profiles added on countries outside of the EU. Philanthropy Advocacy will also publish an update, based on the 2020 mapping, of the 2015 EFC publication “Comparative Highlights of Foundation Laws: The Operating Environment for Foundations in Europe”.

Visit Philanthropy Advocacy to download the 2020 profiles

Banner photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash