17 February 2022

European Parliament vote heralds a new vision for European civil society

On 16 February the European Parliament adopted with a large majority a report on a Statute for European cross-border associations and NPOs. The vote suggests a new European vision and concrete legislative proposals for associations and philanthropic organisations to create a truly level playing field for civil society organisations in Europe. The ball is now in the court of the European Commission.

Philea is very pleased with the outcome of the European Parliament vote and will, together with its partners, follow up with EU policymakers both on this report and the Social Economy Action Plan. Civil society, including philanthropy, deserves and needs greater recognition and a better operating environment in the European Union.

Highlights of the plenary debate (the topic starts at 21’56) included:

  • MEP Sergey Lagodinsky, presenting the report, said that after more than 30 years of policymakers promising the non-profit sector what it deserves, the time is now ripe for greater recognition and a better operating environment with a view to creating a truly European civil society space. Day-to-day experiences of public-benefit organisations in his own German/Polish border region highlight that cross-border work and collaboration is still hampered and a single market does not yet exist for the public-benefit and social economy sector.
  • Vice President Margaritis Schinas expressed the European Commission’s full support for European civil society and recalled the commitments made in its Social Economy Action Plan, which mentions explicitly the Commission’s guidance on tax-treatment and non-discrimination of cross-border donations and Council recommendations on social economy in 2023. It also states a new commitment to carefully assess new legislative proposals for which they will look into the most appropriate legal basis.

Read our position paper

Read more about the European Parliament announcement of the plenary adoption of the JURI report


Hanna Surmatz
Head of Policy