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Study: Enlarging space for philanthropy

Updated: Apr 22, 2018

Philanthropy demands a level playing field in Europe


Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE) and the European Foundation Centre (EFC) launched a commissioned study “Enlarging the Space for European Philanthropy”, by Oonagh Breen, Professor of L aw at UCD Sutherland School of Law.

Spending every year more than 60 billion EUR in public good such as education, health, science, environment, migration and integration, the philanthropy sector is a key pillar of European civil society. It helps address society’s most pressing questions, and furthermore promotes plurality and freedom as well as financing social innovation. But the operating environment for institutional philanthropy in parts of Europe is under threat: i.e. foreign funding restrictions, inconsistent cross-border philanthropy taxation schemes, harmful impacts of too rigid anti - terrorism/money laundering measures , and these are jeopardis ing the essential work of more than 140,000 European donors and foundations.

DAFNE and the EFC, Europe’s leading voices of the p hilanthropic sector, demand a level playing field for institutional p hilanthropy in Europe.


Massimo Lapucci , Chairman of the EFC and Secretary General of the Italian foundation Fondazione CRT , states: “EU t reaties have hindered the develop ment of appropriate legal vehicles to advance philanthropy on a pan - European basis. T his DAFNE/EFC study offers possible ways to facilitate philanthro py across Europe.”

"Arbitrary and discriminating regulations, which prevent cross - border philanthropy, must disappear ",comments Felix Oldenburg , Chairman of DAFNE and General Secretary of the Association of German Foundations . “ There is a single market for goods and services in the EU, yet donations and civic engageme nt far too often stop at national borders as they continuously face major cross - border restrictions. This prevents the multibillion euro European foundation sector f rom unfold ing its full potential to contribute to the public good.“

The EFC and DAFNE will use the learnings of this study to kick - off joint advocacy work for Europe’s philanthropic sector with the aim to maintain and develop the space for philanthropy across Europe and its positive impact on civil society. A new momentum is expected on May 28 th when the sector will engage with policy makers on different pathway scenarios during an interacti ve event in Brussels. Interested press can ask to be invited.


Read the full study here

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