“On topic, off the record”

7 – 8 November, Philanthropy House

Raymond Georis Debate 2018

With only ten months remaining before the next European elections, this year’s EuroPhilantopics offered EFC members the chance to discuss the most pressing challenges in small, focussed and off-the-record discussions with representatives of the EU institutions. In a series of thematic sessions, policymakers and philanthropists delved deeper into EU 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.

EuroPhilantopics takes place each year under Chatham House rules, so what follows is a flavour of the discussions and topics addressed.

I. rEUnaissance

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Luca Jahier, the newly appointed President, drew parallels between philanthropy and the renaissance and how philanthropic support for culture can help kick start a rEUnnaissance. Mr Jahier urged those present to dare to create a sustainable Europe, rethinking sustainability in various areas from energy to economy, and shift mind-sets from a culture of thinking and dreaming to doing.

II. Fighting extremism and intolerance for an Inclusive Europe

Romeo Franz, Member of the European Parliament, described the discrimination he has faced as a German-Sinto and the complex elements involved in trying to both integrate minority groups on the one side and break stereotypes on the other. Urging those present to offer minority groups greater trust, not greater power, Mr Franz also stressed the need to avoid ‘ethnicising’ situations: for example in poverty stricken quarters what people have in common is not primarily their ethnic group, it’s that they’re poor.

III. Making the European Pillar of Social Rights real

Ruth Paserman, Deputy Head of Marianne Thyssen’s Cabinet, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, explained why an ageing Europe, a changing world of work, diverse consequences of the financial crisis, and divergences with and between member states have led to the need for the European Pillar of Social Rights. Ms Paserman then led a discussion on the EU 2020-27 budget providing sufficient funding for social investments, and how philanthropy and its social partners can contribute to building momentum for the Pillar in future.

EuroPhilantopics opened, as in previous years, with the Raymond Georis Debate.


About EuroPhilantopics

EuroPhilantopics is an annual dialogue which forms an integral part of the EFC’s ongoing advocacy and policy 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.


Helping our members engage with high level policymakers is an integral part of what the EFC does. If there is a topic you feel needs to be aired: tell us and we will help make it happen.

 EuroPhilantopics is exclusively for EFC Members


The EuroPhilantopics event is part of the EFC’s ongoing advocacy and policy work for its members. For more information on the EFC’s seven key priorities, please download the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022