“On topic, off the record”

16 November, Philanthropy House

Migration. Climate change. Terrorism. European integrity. Economic turmoil. As Europe grapples with a host of pressing challenges, what role can institutional philanthropy play in tackling such a convergence of crises?

Helping our members engage with high level policymakers is an integral part of what the EFC does, and as every year the 2016 EuroPhilantopics took place at Philanthropy House in Brussels on 16 November as part of this crucial policy work. 

This year, unlike previous years, the format was small, focused, high-level discussions with policymakers, with the aim of forging closer relationships with them and working together to find solutions to today’s major challenges. Participation centred around the EFC’s Governing Council members and some Thematic Networks already engaged in such conversations in their daily work.  Participants delved deeper into key policy areas, shared perspectives and examined avenues for collaboration by making the best use of the different but complementary perspectives and resources that they can offer.

The Raymond Georis Debate took place the evening before EuroPhilantopics, where three young Europeans gave a ‘youthful perspectives on age-old problems’.


In keeping with the EuroPhilantopics’ 2016 ‘off the record’ format exact conversations cannot be reported, but highlights from the roundtables include: 

Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council and former Prime Minister of Belgium helping participants plan ‘A way forward for Europe’

The EU’s Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Myria Vassiliadou explaining ‘Critical challenges facing refugees in Europe – Trafficking in human beings’

Hugo Schally, Head of Unit, EC Directorate-General Environment on the importance of ‘Transitioning to a sustainable economy’

Marianne Carrubba, Policy Analyst, EC Directorate-General Justice and Consumers asking whether ‘The EU considers philanthropy at risk of terrorism abuse?’

Matthias Oel, Director Migration and Security funds, DG Migration and Home Affairs ‘The reform of the Common European Asylum System’

Following the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States, Sir Michael Leigh, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and former Director General at the European Commission hosted a strategic reflection on how the outcome of the US elections may influence European politics and context and vice-versa.


About EuroPhilantopics

EuroPhilantopics is an annual dialogue which forms an integral part of the EFC’s ongoing work and discussions with policymakers throughout the year.

Building on the relationships and conversations which span several years and making full use of the central location of Philanthropy House in Brussels, the EFC brings together the philanthropic sector and EU policymakers for lively, off the record exchanges and strategic reflections on finding solutions to today’s major challenges.

Recent co-initiatives include the EFC’s European Environmental Funders Group work on economic transition, the Research Forum’s work with the European Political Strategy Centre and Scientific Advice Mechanism High Level Group to the European Commission, and a series of debates and discussions at open events such as the EFC Annual Conference.

If there is a topic you feel needs to be aired: tell us and we will help make it happen!