European Democracy Network

This network aims to facilitate more effective philanthropic support to strengthen democratic values and participation in Europe through cooperation and information exchange and to create a sustainable, broad-based platform for independent foundations working towards a stronger European democracy.

Focus areas

  • Participatory democracy and active citizenship
  • New technologies and the impact on democracy
  • Transparency of institutions


  • Organising sessions at the EFC’s Annual General Assembly and Conference
  • Holding two meetings each year to explore, network and learn from peers on different topics relating to European Democracy
  • Analysing the work of EFC members in the area of European democracy

Network background

In 2015, EFC members came together to conduct a mapping on democracy-related projects and initiatives to gain a greater understanding of what is being done in this area. On completion of this mapping, a network was established, with the King Baudouin Foundation leading the way. The urgency to meet increased due to the Brexit referendum in the UK as well as the rise of populism in Europe more broadly. Since June 2016, the network has been meeting twice a year to discuss topics of importance and brainstorm potential solutions.

Relationship with the SDGs

Understanding European philanthropy, and how its work relates to the Sustainable Development Goals, is essential when it comes to finding ways of leveraging existing and potential areas of synergy.

The work of the EFC’s Thematic Networks cover the entire range of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (even if they don’t always refer to them explicitly), which are a key part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The work of the European Democracy Network touches upon the following SDGs:

The European Democracy Network is part of the EFC’s ongoing commitment to collaboration and peer-learning, as outlined in the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022.

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