European Cultural Foundation
Our founders created the European Cultural Foundation in 1954 as they envisioned a united Europe where citizens feel proudly European, a place where they can live, express themselves, work and dream freely, in diversity and harmony. Ever since the ECF promotes a European sentiment through developing and supporting cultural initiatives that let us share, experience and imagine Europe. We believe our mission is as urgent now as it was back then.
We have a vision for Europe. A continent where all can live, work, dream and express themselves freely, in diversity and harmony. Where we share a sense of belonging based on solidarity, mutual respect between people and with collaborations across borders of all kinds. We believe in the power of culture to achieve this Europe. Culture helps us negotiate ways of living together, build and understand our multiple identities and make Europe our home. We promote a European sentiment through developing and supporting cultural initiatives that let us share, experience and imagine Europe.
Our core values – cooperation, diversity and solidarity – are reflected in everything we do: providing grants, building communities, offering incubator programs and online platforms, organizing events and challenges, publishing books and advocating for culture with policymakers. We have pioneered in growing a European sentiment for over 65 years, and our mission is as urgent as when we first started.
Geographic FocusEurope and neighboring regions
All our programmes work towards understanding Europe as a genuine cultural community. An emotional sense of belonging to such a community, a true European sentiment – as our founders called it – is a crucial element for growing Europe in a spirit and culture of solidarity, across national borders and social divides.
In our programmes, Europeans from many different backgrounds get to experience the common space and future they share, by culturally engaging with fellow citizens. Europe is both a cultural idea and a political project. Our work acknowledges the European Union as a historical cornerstone of the European unification ideas promoted by our founders. However, our programmes extend beyond the borders of the current EU member states and its institutions.
Our programmes stimulate Europeans to imagine their futures freely and creatively and to find new answers to joint European and systemic global challenges. Storytelling, artistic expression and cultural debate are essential instruments of our work for reflecting on the past, examining the presence and envisioning the future of Europe as a common public sphere.
Culture of Solidarity
In 2020, we offered public stakeholders and foundations the opportunity to connect local/national action with European purpose by inviting them to join the Culture of Solidarity Fund. It is a matter of scale and impact.
This echoes the words of our founder – Robert Schuman – who famously said, “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.”
Advocacy is a means to advance our mission and to achieve our programmatic goals. We aim at influencing public policy and decisions on priorities and resource allocations within political and philanthropic institutions. Within ECF’s 2020-2025 strategy, advocacy focuses on the following:
- #CulturalDealEU campaign
- Influence EU policy and leverage of funding
- Philanthropy with a European purpose
- Amsterdam partnership
- Other Strategic Partnerships