24 November 2021

Philanthropy and civil society input into the Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe has the ambition to reinvigorate citizens’ participation, the understanding that policy affects our lives, and that the voice of citizens needs to be heard. It was proposed by the European Commission and the European Parliament in 2019, with the purpose of providing an inclusive platform on the long-term future of the European Union. We are as Philanthropy advocacy engaging with the Conference by contributing our Manifesto asks and ideas coming from our membership into different channels, also using our seat in the Economic and Social Committee Liaison Group (EESC LG). We have also encouraged our members to follow and link up to the conference themselves. Everyone is invited to provide input to the CofoE via this website. We are also part of the Civil Society Convention on the conference on the Future of Europe.

With the aim to collect wider civil society input into the Conference on the Future of Europe, Civil Society Europe has launched a Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe through a joint declaration claiming a space for civil society organisations in the Conference on the Future of Europe. The declaration has been endorsed by nearly 70 organisations active at pan-European level, including Philanthropy Advocacy, the joint Dafne and EFC initiative. The Convention itself works with a Plenary and 5 Thematic Clusters coordinated each by one or more members of the Steering Group. The Steering Group ensures also that the work carried out in different Thematic Clusters feed into other Clusters, leading to a consistent and mutually reinforcing set of final recommendations.

We, at Philanthropy Advocacy, are representing our membership at the Convention on the Conference on the Future of Europe, more specifically at their Social Cluster and Democracy Cluster. The call for engaging philanthropy and wider civil society into the Conference on the Future of Europe and Civil Society Convention as a part of it corresponds to the first Philanthropy Advocacy Manifesto ask, calling for more engagement and dialogue.

The Convention is currently seeking to provide the input to the Conference on the Future of Europe from the civil society perspective. We are collecting input regarding the objectives from our members via surveys. These consultations aim to analyse the current state of affairs and map out events/debates that can assist us in reaching out to civil societies at the national and local levels. Furthermore, from October to December, the Convention intends to hold discussions and debates with constituents to feed into the Convention and CoFoE processes. The collected ideas will be brought forward at the next Conference Plenary sessions.

By the end of the CoFoE institutional process, we anticipate the Convention will have produced reports to be presented to decision makers, the media, and civil society across Europe, along with a joint preamble.

Source: Civil Society Europe, link

Three thematic cluster consultations are currently running:

 Our European Life Cluster Survey

Under the umbrella theme of “Our European Life” – What it is – What it should be – and How to Get There!, this cluster examine European rights and values as a transversal frame and foundation for pondering on the topics of European rights and values, European identity and more. Factsheets that provide additional information and context concerning these questions are available here.
Deadline for consultation: End of November.

 Democracy Cluster Survey

Under the thematic cluster European Democracy we need – the survey aims to address concerns related to THREE main challenges of democracy in Europe: (i) Enabling Environment for Participation, (ii) Electoral Reform and (iii) Ensure Accountability
For French version: https://forms.gle/HY2dvcKKjBhYDk1H8
For Italian version: https://forms.gle/VWALPWDBhftafMiFA

 Social Europe Cluster Survey

CLICK HERE to write in your recommendations and positions with regards to the achievement of Sustainable Economic Model, Equal Opportunities (including migration), Fair Working Conditions, and Social Protection.
Deadline for consultation: 26th of November.

And one consultation has already finalised its first phase:

 Digital Transformation Cluster Survey

Via ECAS’s crowdsourcing platform share your positions on: Digital Democracy, Digital Education, Digital Safeguards, Defending Rights and Freedoms Online, and Digital Economy.
Find the guidelines to access the platform at this link.
Deadline for the first phase of consultation: 31st of October.


Please find more information on the Convention on the Conference on the Future of Europe at our website:

At the website of Civil Society Europe:

And at the official website of the Conference on the Future of Europe: https://futureu.europa.eu/?locale=en

Annex: Action Plan

Source: Civil Society Europe, link

By Hanna Hanses, Philanthropy Advocacy

Hanna Hanses is Junior Manager at Dafne (Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe) in Brussels. Since joining Dafne in 2019, she has been part of the Legal Team of Philanthropy Advocacy, a joint initiative of Dafne and the EFC (European Foundation Centre). She holds an LLM International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex, UK, focusing her thesis on climate-induced displacement. She received her LLB Bachelor in Law from Ghent University, Belgium. Hanna brings with her a multi-cultural experience, having lived in inter alia the Democratic Republic of Congo, Switzerland and Belgium.