3 September 2021

How foundations and philanthropy in Europe are regulated – Key trends and insights

Invitation to launch of “Comparative Highlights of Foundation Laws” publication. Please register here.

Did you know that foundations can pursue only public-benefit purposes in Spain? Or that the Netherlands do not require a minimum capital to establish a foundation? Were you aware that political activities are taboo for Finnish foundations? Or that in France, foundations can receive legacies and donations, but corporate foundations can only receive contributions from the founding company?

Philanthropy in Europe is as diverse as European societies are, and this reality is reflected in the varied legal traditions and approaches to regulating these unique civil society actors. “Comparative Highlights of Foundation Laws” untangles this diversity and provides a nuanced understanding of the legal and fiscal regulation of foundations and philanthropy in Europe.

On behalf of the Dafne-EFC Philanthropy Advocacy team, it is our great pleasure to invite you to the launch event of the 2021 edition of “Comparative Highlights”, the joint flagship publication of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) and Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (Dafne), taking place online on October 1, 2021 from 10.00 – 11.30 CEST.

“Comparative Highlights” is an outcome of a two-year mapping project detailing the regulatory environments in which philanthropy and foundations operate in 40 countries across wider Europe. The publication draws on these country profiles, which were drafted by national-level experts, to provide a comparative overview of the diverse national legal and fiscal frameworks for foundations in Europe, and to identify the most relevant trends and patterns, as well as challenges. This comparative analysis seeks to inform the work towards an enabling environment for philanthropy in Europe.

The launch event will open up a space for discussion on the publication’s key insights into the transparency, regulation and accountability of philanthropy in Europe. You will have a chance to get an overview of the latest findings from renowned academics and EU policymakers around a wide range of issues, such as anti-money laundering legislation, cross-border philanthropy, taxation and innovative approaches to philanthropy.



Moderated by

  • Hanna Surmatz, European Foundation Centre (EFC) and Max von Abendroth, Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe
  • Carola Carazzone, Chair of Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (Dafne) and Angel Font, Chair of the European Foundation Centre (EFC)
  • Helmut Anheier, Hertie School of Governance
Presentation of the main conclusions of the publication
  • Ludwig Forrest, King Baudouin Foundation
Snapshot interviews with academics and policymakers
Anti-money laundering (new policies) 
  • Kateřina Ronovská, Masaryk University Brno and and Juan Antonio Salazar, DG FISMA, European Commission
Cross-border philanthropy (legal issues)
  • Oonagh Breen, University Colleague Dublin (on lessons learned from past attempts) and Wino van Veen, Free University of Amsterdam (merger/conversion/move of seat) and Sergey Lagodinsky, MEP on JURI report
Cross-border philanthropy (tax issues)
  • Giedre Lideikyte-Huber, University of Geneva and Katharina Burlafinger, European Parliament (assistant to MEP Nicola Beer)
The EC Social Economy Action Plan
  • Miia Rossi, DG EMPL, European Commission
Concluding remarks

Delphine Moralis, European Foundation Centre


You can register here to the event.