European Philanthropy Manifesto

The European Philanthropy Manifesto outlines the principles Philea wishes to be implemented across the EU to realise the full potential of our sector. The main aim of the Manifesto is the establishment of a common market for philanthropy within the European Union, where donors and foundations can freely operate across borders. 

A road to a Single Market for Philanthropy

While it is easy for goods and services to move freely around the European Union, it is still difficult for donors, foundations and committed citizens to operate across borders. Despite the fact that international engagement of foundations and funders is growing, our latest legal mapping confirmed that the operating environment for cross-border philanthropy within the European Union is still far from satisfactory.

Philanthropic organisations are challenged by various legal, administrative, and fiscal barriers when acting across borders, which have been estimated in the feasibility study on the European Foundation Statute to cost them around €90,000,000 to €101,700,000 per year.

These obstacles include the limitation for cross-border merging of foundations and recognition of foreign foundations in different countries, as well as limited access to foreign funding and banking services. Foundations also have to deal with a lot of red tape when operating outside of their home countries and some national laws are restrictive on how they can invest their assets to support social enterprises. 

Building on the previous edition, we’ve updated our European Philanthropy Manifesto for 2024 to call on policymakers in Europe to work towards a Single Market for Philanthropy by taking these 4 steps:

  • EMPOWER philanthropy
  • FACILITATE cross-border philanthropy
  • ENGAGE with philanthropy
  • PARTNER with philanthropy for public good
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