24 April 2020

Foundations as partners in the European Union Emergency Support Instrument for healthcare

The European Commission announced that it commits to directly supporting the healthcare systems of the EU Member States in their fights against the coronavirus pandemic, channeling resources through the Emergency Support Instrument and the rescEU medical equipment capacity.

In this series of Q&A regarding this commitment, the Commission explicitly refers to foundations as partners in providing additional contributions. Given the medium- to long-term perspective of the proposed action, the Commission will explore further avenues to attract financing. These include donations by individuals, foundationsand even crowd funding. The Commission is looking into putting in place all necessary modalities to allow speedy collection of contributions and donations. The budget could be further reinforced through these means as well as fresh budget appropriation in 2021 once a budget for 2021 is in place (based on an agreement on the MFF 2021-2027).

DAFNE and EFC welcome the recognition of the philanthropic sector as partners of the European Union in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. To facilitate the vital work being done by European philanthropy at this critical juncture, it is within the power of EU policymakers to ensure that this work is at its most efficient and is not hindered by cross-border issues. In this regard, we want to reiterate the importance of our letter and recommendations put forward to the Presidents of the European Union, putting forward ways on how to enhance cross-border collaborations, including the need to consider tax incentives, flexibility on the side of supervisory authorities, recognition of the sector in emergency packages at national and European levels, as well as the possibility for public-private partnerships and matching funds as proposed here by the Commission.

However, we also want to stress that the role of European foundations and donors clearly goes beyond funding. Foundations across Europe have a wide range of resources and expertise at hand that are crucial both in this short-term response to the coronavirus emergency, as well as in the long-term recovery and vision for society. Besides making available grants, foundations serve as innovators, convenors and service providers. They are often on the frontlines responding to the needs of the most vulnerable segments of our society, as well as conducting research on how to alleviate the burdens of the virus. Therefore, it is crucial that the European Union unlocks the full potential of philanthropy and does not narrow its role to funding, which is only one aspect of its role within the European society.


Provided by the PA Team.