17 September 2020

PA contributes to EU Democracy Action Plan

Over the past decade, the state of European core values such as democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights have been in decline in parts of Europe and therefore we welcome that the European Union in 2019 responded to these troubling trends with a promise for a new push for European democracy. This commitment puts democracy at the heart of European Commission priorities for the 2019-2024 term and sets the tone for a new EU-wide political initiative to improve and protect European democracy: the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP).


The PA Secretariat has submitted its comments to the EDAP consultation and has also co-signed a joint Civil Society Europe contribution and contributed to a more indebts analysis on the issue by the European Partnership for Democracy.


PA stresses in its contribution that philanthropic organisations as part of wider civil society have a unique, crucial and timely role to play in meeting the critical challenges societies face. They are part of our pluralistic and democratic societies. Some philanthropic organisations have as their core objective to strengthen democracy and/or other EU core values. They act as conveners, funders, think tanks and/or experts on the issue of democracy. On the other hand, our sector is a stakeholder as part of wider civil society in our participatory democracies and part of the civil dialogue. In its contribution PA asks for further strengthening the civil dialogue of Article 11 TEU to ensure that civil society actors including philanthropic actors are involved in shaping EU policies and underlines the importance of the Conference on the Future of Europe as an opportunity to strengthen the democratic quality of the discussions on the future of Europe.


In the context of the pandemic, this EU commitment to democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights is more important than ever. As the crisis evolves and Europe faces a long road to pandemic recovery ahead, it is important that the EDAP reflects the strengths and weaknesses of today’s European democracies, for a more robust democratic union tomorrow.


PA in its contributions also stresses the need for an overall favourable operating space for philanthropy and wider civil society as key actors in our pluralistic and democratice society and calls on the EU to:


  • Recognise philanthropy and engage with it
  • Provide for an enabling civil society including philanthropy
  • Facilitate cross-border philanthropy and public benefit work
  • Ensure effective EU funding for civil society and provide tools for philanthropy to co-grant and co-invest