Brussels, 19 April 2018 – The Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE) and the European Foundation Centre (EFC) welcome today’s approval of a European Values Instrument by the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The two organisations support the resolution that aims to create a dedicated funding instrument that would provide targeted financial support to civil society organisations which are active at local and national level. These organisations promote and protect the values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaties: such as the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, the principles of pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance and solidarity.

Strong civil society helps to protect European values

This is a crucial initiative at a time when both new and old EU Member States face the problem of growing nationalist and populist sentiment. Never before has there been such a strong need to foster and safeguard our European values such as democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights. The creation of the Instrument is a clear and positive signal that the Union and its institutions are determined to support citizens and initiatives which share basic common European values.

We recommend that the European Values Instrument should be managed by entities independent of governments and that beneficiaries should include primarily civil society organisations in individual countries,” comments Magda Pekacka, Vice-Chair of DAFNE, on the outcome of today’s vote.

Although independent civil society organisations are needed and recognised for their essential role in the promotion of European values, they face growing difficulties in accessing the necessary resources to perform their important work, as highlighted in the Fundamental Rights Agency report published earlier this year on “Challenges Facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU”.

We, as the philanthropy sector, strongly support all EU engagement and action aimed at promoting European values, and strongly recommend reaching out to civil society at local and national level with more flexible funding tools,” states Gerry Salole, Chief Executive of the EFC.  

About DAFNE

DAFNE (www.dafne-online.eu) is Europe’s largest network of donors and foundations associations. With 26 member associations with a collective membership of more than 10,000 foundations and grant-makers, DAFNE is a leading voice of European foundations. It underpins individual activities of its members by encouraging dialogue and collaboration between the national associations. DAFNE is currently chaired by Felix Oldenburg, General Secretary of the Association of German Foundations.

Contact: Max von Abendroth, DAFNE Executive Director, [email protected]

About the EFC

The European Foundation Centre (EFC) (www.efc.be) is the platform of institutional philanthropy[1] with a focus on Europe, but also with an eye to the global philanthropic landscape. It is a network of foundations and philanthropic institutions committed to the development and promotion of institutional philanthropy in Europe and globally. With the aim of being the voice of institutional philanthropy in Europe, the EFC promotes and communicates the value of institutional philanthropy to society thus contributing to an environment in which philanthropy can flourish. It serves as a hub of sector exchange and intelligence, to help its members increase the impact of their added value in society. The current chairman of the EFC is Massimo Lapucci from Fondazione CRT. 

Contact: Catherine Lennon, EFC Communications Director, [email protected]

[1] Institutional philanthropy refers to foundations, corporate funders and other players that 1) have their own financial resources which they deploy strategically, 2) are independently governed, and 3) use private resources for public good. These organisations, which are in myriad forms, are purposefully structured and organised over the long term and bound by structures of accountability, public benefit and public reporting and legal requirements.