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Enlarging the Space for European Philanthropy

by Dr. Oonagh B. Breen

Jan 16, 2018

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. 

The study stresses key dilemmas and solutions

  • Philanthropy remains largely outside the European treaties. Its recognition in the treaties and in European fundamental rights is needed.
  • Barriers to cross-border philanthropy pose a major challenge. While the freedom of capital movement prohibits foreign funding restrictions, Europe needs to move towards a European public benefit concept, non-discriminatory tax regimes and simplifying tax authority practices and providing for more information sharing tools.
  • National laws must be in line with European fundamental rights and EU freedoms. While the philanthropic sector uses existing protection mechanisms (e.g., via EU Treaty infringement procedures) it may be necessary to examine if these are sufficient.
  • EU and national efforts to counter-terrorism financing, money laundering and tax evasion, which are intended to protect the sector must be risk-based, proportionate and evidence-based. In addition, the sector and policymakers should work jointly to assess and address risks.