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Strengthening European Philanthropy Foundations in Contemporary Europe 12 September 2008 ׀ Warsaw Gerry Salole.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening European Philanthropy Foundations in Contemporary Europe 12 September 2008 ׀ Warsaw Gerry Salole."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening European Philanthropy Foundations in Contemporary Europe 12 September 2008 ׀ Warsaw Gerry Salole

2 I ain't lookin' to simplify you, classify you Analyze you, categorize you define you or confine you Or select you or dissect you chain you down or bring you down Race or chase you, track or trace you I ain't lookin' for you to feel like me See like me or be like me All I really want to do Is, baby, be friends with you. Paraphrased from Bob Dylan “All I Really Want To Do” 1964Paraphrased from Bob Dylan “All I Really Want To Do” 1964

3 The Spectrum of Foundations in Europe There are 95,000 ‘public benefit foundations’ in the EU, (on average there are 27 foundations per 100,000 inhabitants) This corresponds to an increase of 50% of public benefit foundations in 4 years (2001-2005)

4 A Sector Characterised by its Diversity EU = 27 countries > over 50 legal systems > over 60 languages No lingua franca: the definition and use of the term ‘foundation’ differs from one country to another Foundation (en) = Alapitvanyok (hu) An Foras (ga) Fondation (fr) Fondazione (it) Fondazzjoni (mt) Fond (en) Fondas (lt) Fonds (lv) Fonden (da) Fundacao (pt) Fundacion (es) Fundacija (sl) Fundacja (pl) FundaŃie (ro) ίδρυμα (el) ФОНДАЦИЯ (bg) Nadacia (sl) saatio (fi) Stichting (nl) Stiftung (de) Stiftelse (sv) Trust (en) Vakıf (tk) Zaklada (cn)

5 EFC Definition of a Foundation “Public-benefit foundations are asset-based and purpose-driven. They have no members or shareholders and are separately constituted non- profit bodies. Foundations focus on areas ranging from the environment, social services, health and education, to science, research, arts and culture. They have an established and reliable income source, which allows them to plan and carry out work over a longer term than many other institutions such as governments and companies.”

6 EFC Typologies The EFC identified 18 of the most common foundation types in Europe, initially grouped into 4 generic categories: 1 Independent foundations 2 Corporate foundations 3 Governmentally-linked foundations 4 Community foundations and other fund-raising foundations Based on 3 key criteria: 1 Source of foundation’s financial resources? 2 Who controls decision making? 3 How is the distribution of financial resources approached? As the categories are not exclusive, EFC members often have trouble choosing just 1 ‘label’ for their organisation. With each new member joining, we could virtually create a classification for every variant that is identified.

7 Crooks’ Models of Civil Society in Europe Anglo-Saxon Ancient roots and unbroken history, very well established, non-political- party, extensive and free co- operation with public authorities, etc. Pillarised Tendency to be marginalized in favour of state and church, co- operation with public authorities in practice necessary. ‘Southern’ Tendency towards co-operatives and mutual’s (post Risorgimento), politicized, some clientism. ‘Statist’ Associations seen by the state as contributing to ‘solidarity’ but otherwise still strong traces of historical distrust – emphasis on ‘social’ rather than ‘civil’ dialogue and consultation

8 Tayart’s Interpretation (2005) ModelCharacteristics Scandinavian State plays strong role, dominant welfare state but strong volunteering system. Civil Society successfully “pulls” Government into gaps. Good complimentarity. Rhine (includes Belgium, Germany & the Netherlands) Strong civil society organizations are institution like and often receive contracts from state. In sectors such as health and education function much like subcontractors. Paradoxically independent from state but almost 100% publicly financed. Historically Organized in ideological pillars, such as socialist, liberal or Christian Democrat. Because of the dependency on government, fiscal and legal climate does not strongly favour donations and gifts. Latin/Mediterranean Civil Society face challenge in being accepted as independent and autonomous. There is a persistence in trying to control organizations and associations politically, either though representations on boards or by legal measures. Anglo Saxon Civil Society organizations are seen as counterweight to government & state (check and balance role?). Foster pluralism and “cast themselves” in the role of critic of state and advocates of change Countries in Transition Still in transition. The overall picture suggests convergence with rest of EU in terms of competitiveness, trade specialization but civil society is still discovering the space that they can occupy.

9 MacDonald and Tayart (2008) stress Fluidity Tayart’s models (2005) can be used as a basis to understand civil society models, but they are evolving rapidly The classifications may be less distinct and given ‘types’ and are instead ways of understanding the various legislative backdrops Too often theorists cannot see past the Anglo-Saxon model European foundations highlighted in their book are reaching beyond these models in new and interesting ways, reflecting diverse responses to changing circumstances and context

10 Demeš and Forbrig (2007) Imply ‘Watchdog’ Role “[following the ‘colour’ revolutions] citizens discovered the power they can have, and politicians were forced to accept, that citizens have the right to, and are capable of, shaping the democratic process through their initiative and through independent civic organisations…it has become a natural ambition of civil society and the free media to closely monitor the performance of political leaders and public officials.”


12 Trends in Europe Many European governments are increasingly recognising the valuable role that foundations can play, and adjusting tax incentives and related civil law accordingly, including: Finland, Germany, Netherlands, UK Other countries plan on undertaking similar revisions in the near future: Italy, Poland While there have been some encouraging trends on tax incentives for private giving and cross-border giving in many European countries, some countries are also becoming more cautious about foundations and are asking for more oversight

13 Infrastructure People Governments NGOs Community Foundations Foundations The civil society Burger

14 Making the Case for a European Foundation Statute A European Foundation Statute would cover foundations’ governance, transparency and accountability in cross-border work and financing. It would be a new, optional, public-benefit legal tool, governed by European law, and complementing national laws. Why is it needed? Foundation work is getting more international as a result of the internationalisation of the complex problems foundations contribute to address. Foundations struggle with different national and even regional laws. New European initiatives are delayed by a lack of appropriate legal tools. Funders need freedom to work throughout Europe, across borders, with minimal red tape. Other Benefits? Develop common definition and clarify the terms and conditions of foundations.

15 Strengthening European Philanthropy Questions, Comments ? Thank you Contact us: European Foundation Centre, AISBL | 51, rue de la Concorde | 1050 Brussels, Belgium t +32.2.512.8938 | f +32.2512.3265 | |

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