13 June 2023

European Commission delivers new policy to enable philanthropy sector   

It is a big day for Philea and philanthropy! The European Commission announced today its recommendations to Member States to ease barriers to cross-border philanthropy and to work towards a broadly enabling environment for our sector and the wider social economy, two outcomes Philea has strongly advocated for in its European Philanthropy Manifesto

The news came in the long-awaited European Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on developing the social economy framework conditions and the guidance for Member States on taxation frameworks for social economy organisations and cross-border philanthropy, released this afternoon. These acts are part of the Social Economy Action Plan presented by the Commission in December 2021

As Philea we have engaged around the Social Economy Action Plan with the  Commission for the last couple of years and are proudly celebrating this milestone for our Single Market for Philanthropy as a result of this constructive engagement. We now count on Member States to maintain the high level of ambition expressed in the proposal with regard to our sector.

The proposal suggests enabling framework conditions for social economy actors including foundations. It recommends that Member States consider stimulating tax incentives for the sector including corporate tax exemptions and income tax incentives for donors. It gives specific attention to better facilitate public-benefit cross-border donations, for example by issuing a standardised form of the recipient entity established in another Member State. The proposal is accompanied by two papers detailing “Relevant taxation frameworks for social economy entities” and “Non-discriminatory taxation of charitable organisations and their donors”, both of which explicitly refer to the information collected in our Philea Comparative Highlights and country profiles as one of their main sources of information. Philea welcomes this strong call on Member States to facilitate cross-border philanthropy and to provide for an overall enabling environment for our sector and the wider social economy sector.

Philea will analyse the proposal in more detail and will also engage with other social economy organisations for this purpose.