European Cultural Foundation


Developing and supporting cultural initiatives that let us share, experience and imagine Europe.


We have a vision for Europe. A continent where all can live, work, dream and express themselves freely, in diversity and harmony. Where we share a sense of belonging based on solidarity, mutual respect between people and with collaborations across borders of all kinds. We believe in the power of culture to achieve this Europe. Culture helps us negotiate ways of living together, build and understand our multiple identities and make Europe our home. We promote a European sentiment through developing and supporting cultural initiatives that let us share, experience and imagine Europe.

Our core values - cooperation, diversity and solidarity - are reflected in everything we do: providing grants, building communities, offering incubator programs and online platforms, organizing events and challenges, publishing books and advocating for culture with policymakers. We have pioneered in growing a European sentiment for over 65 years, and our mission is as urgent as when we first started.

Geographic Focus

Europe and neighboring regions

Programme Areas

Three thematic working domains define our programmes and describe our ambitions to inspire people and communities to EXPERIENCE Europe - IMAGINE Europe - SHARE Europe.

All our programmes work towards understanding Europe as a genuine cultural community. An emotional sense of belonging to such a community, a true European sentiment - as our founders called it - is a crucial element for growing Europe in a spirit and culture of solidarity, across national borders and social divides.

In our programmes, Europeans from many different backgrounds get to experience the common space and future they share, by culturally engaging with fellow citizens. Europe is both a cultural idea and a political project. Our work acknowledges the European Union as a historical cornerstone of the European unification ideas promoted by our founders. However, our programmes extend beyond the borders of the current EU member states and its institutions.

Our programmes stimulate Europeans to imagine their futures freely and creatively and to find new answers to joint European and systemic global challenges. Storytelling, artistic expression and cultural debate are essential instruments of our work for reflecting on the past, examining the presence and envisioning the future of Europe as a common public sphere.


Advocacy is a means to advance our mission and to achieve our programmatic goals. We aim at influencing public policy and decisions on priorities and resource allocations within political and philanthropic institutions. Within ECF’s 2020-2025 strategy, advocacy focuses on the following:

- Influence EU policy and leverage of funding
- Philanthropy with a European purpose
- Amsterdam partnership
- Other Strategic Partnerships

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