16 March 2019

Press release: European Philanthropy Manifesto launched on 20 March – please sign on!

On Wednesday 20 March the European Philanthropy Manifesto, including four key recommendations to introduce a Single Market for Philanthropy, was launched at Philanthropy House in Brussels in the presence of over 60 policymakers from the European Commission, European Parliament, Member States, EESC, OECD and representatives from the philanthropy and civil society sectors. In a panel discussion, European Commission’s Kerstin Jorna (Deputy Director General of DG ECFIN) and Michael O’Flaherty (Director of EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)) welcomed the timely launch of the Manifesto while Massimo Lapucci (Chair of the European Foundation Centre (EFC)) and Felix Oldenburg (Chair of Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE)) provided the context for the need for a Single Market for Philanthropy.

“Today we have the opportunity to promote, with a single voice, the demands of philanthropy at the European level to ensure that the entire sector has the recognition it deserves,” says EFC Chair Massimo Lapucci. “The Philanthropy Manifesto is the first concrete result of the joint advocacy work of the EFC and DAFNE for the development of a single market without frontiers for the entire sector. It is, in fact, only in the presence of a favourable environment that institutional philanthropy can fully perform its role of building social capital: an essential ‘glue’ in today’s Europe, given the fragmentation caused by centrifugal forces and by an increasing disconnect between citizens and institutions.”

European Commission’s Kerstin Jorna acknowledged the need for a Single Market for Philanthropy in order to unlock the full potential of foundations across Europe: “Following the agreement on the InvestEU proposal in Trialogue this week, including a great set of opportunities for foundations to become even more relevant investors in the social policy window, I am fully supportive to the four key recommendations outlined in the European Philanthropy Manifesto. We, the European Institutions, must support philanthropy actors as they engage in areas neither governments nor companies play a role.”

DAFNE Chair Felix Oldenburg highlighted three of the many ideas in the Philanthropy Manifesto: “First, we ask policymakers to protect the fundamental rights of the freedom of association and movement of capital and end the worrying trend towards government control of foundations, crippling foreign funding restrictions and additional regulation aimed at shutting down independent civil society. Second, we propose to facilitate the cross-border flow of grants and social investments by removing barriers that cost the sector €100 million annually and prevent work on pressing challenges wherever they may lie. Finally, we are suggesting a next stage of collaboration between foundations and European institutions, both in strategic co-granting and in creating incentives for co-investing from endowments –mobilising an untapped billion euro potential.”

Stressing that philanthropy is an important part of civil society FRA’s Michael O’Flaherty supported the call of Europe’s foundations for a better recognition of philanthropy at EU as well as at national level.

Institutional philanthropy in Europe includes more than 147,000 philanthropic organisations with an accumulated annual giving of nearly €60 billion. Besides funding and investments, these organisations combine an outstanding set of expertise, deep knowledge and excellent stakeholder networks in the areas of their activities that can be leveraged significantly with the appropriate framework conditions.

For more information please contact

Catherine Lennon, Communications Director, EFC, clennon@efc.be , +32.2.512.8938
Max von Abendroth, Executive Director, DAFNE, max.abendroth@dafne-online.eu, +32.494.50.51.79