Philea contributes to Defence of democracy consultation
On 13 April, Philea submitted its comments on the European Commission’s proposal for a Defence of Democracy Package, highlighting how threats to democracy also encompass much broader issues, including the functioning of checks and balances of political institutions.
In the submission, Philea welcomed the initiative as a potential important contribution to enhancing democratic participation, protection, resilience, and recognition of civil society, including philanthropy. However, clear concerns were expressed about the envisaged measures to address covert foreign interference in EU democracies. Although the information in the call for evidence is scarce, we understand that a draft legislative proposal for a Directive would potentially require NGOs and other actors to disclose foreign funding if they engage in “interest representation”. Such an approach is of concern to us and it must be carefully assessed. It could restrict access to finance for NGOs and has the potential to stigmatise NGOs receiving foreign funding and those providing the funding, have chilling impact on cross-border philanthropy and the freedom of association and free flow of capital.