9 March 2019

Press release: European philanthropy sector pushes back on proposed Dutch law requiring disclosure of donor information

Brussels, 26 February – Responding to the recently proposed act on transparency of civil society organisations in the Netherlands, the EFC and DAFNE have filed a joint contribution to the online consultation on the law, raising several concerns. The law proposal suggests that civil society organisations would be required to report on their websites not only the amount of donations of €15,000 or higher, but also the name and residence of the donors.

The joint EFC-DAFNE contribution to the consultation explains how the draft law potentially:

• is in conflict with human rights and EU law,
• is not in line with the overall environment for philanthropy in Europe,
• puts at risk the status of the Netherlands as a philanthropy-friendly country,
• would have a significant chilling effect on donors and philanthropy in Europe.

The contribution puts this national-level law proposal into a European context, by examining it in light of practice and laws in other countries, as well as established European standards and rules. Working closely with some Dutch EFC members and FIN, the national-level association of foundations in the Netherlands, the EFC and DAFNE have gathered comparative data that confirms that public disclosure of donor information is generally not required in a European comparative context.

Additionally, the EFC and DAFNE have collaborated with other legal experts, in particular ECNL (The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law), to analyse the draft law from a human rights and EU law perspective.

The contribution emphasises that this law would affect the work of funders and donors both in and outside the Netherlands and would have a wider impact on European philanthropy and civil society by potentially setting a precedent that other Member States might follow.

The EFC and DAFNE will follow developments closely on this matter as part of their joint initiative DAFNE-EFC Philanthropy Advocacy, which works towards a “Single Market for Philanthropy” in Europe. The initiative focuses on four key asks of EU policymakers: 1) Recognise philanthropy; 2) Reduce barriers to cross-border philanthropy; 3) Enable and protect philanthropy; and 4) Co-grant and co-invest for public good and civil society.

Links to contributions to the online consultation

DAFNE-EFC contribution
ECNL (The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law) contribution

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