During the ISTR conference which took place from 10-13 July at the Free University of Amsterdam, the sector’s operating environment was discussed in two sessions at the Dutch days.

In a panel discussion on minimum legal norms for optimum conditions for civil society, chaired by Tymen van der Ploeg of VU University Amsterdam, different speakers discussed what fundamental rights and EU treaty freedoms mean for civil society and philanthropic organisations.  It also looked at what the position of civil society organisations is in the ‘market’.

Another session moderated by Sigrid Hemels of the Erasmus School of Law reviewed tax incentives for philanthropy also in a cross-border context. The Dutch Tax scheme was put into a comparative context and proposals were made how to further simplify processes and procedures for cross-border philanthropy taxation, which is an issue at the core of EFC, TGE and DAFNE.

EFC spoke in the two panel discussions and shared some of the key issues around promoting a more enabling environment philanthropy as advocated for by DAFNE and EFC.