January 2017. For the first time the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE) met for its annual winter meeting in the German capital Berlin. Representatives from 17 European countries came together to exchange know-how, strengthen pan-European ties, and discuss challenges the philanthropic scene in Europe is facing. DAFNE members agreed to boost their transnational efforts in securing a secure and productive environment for the philanthropy. A significant focus of the meeting was on the operating environment and members’ experiences of the practical impact of restrictive legislation were shared. The meeting took the first step in a joint study being undertaken by DAFNE, EFC and University College Dublin, on ‘Enlarging the Space for Philanthropy in Europe’.
The Association of German Foundations hosted the event, with the support of Gerda Henkel and Körber Foundations.
European civil society is under pressure
Felix Oldenburg, General Secretary of the Association of German Foundation says: “We see a lack of a homogeneous European regulatory framework for philanthropy, growing financial risk due to low interest rates, and an increasing number of European states taking actions against non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and foundations. These disconcerting trends have been perceptible for quite some time, globally. We will increase our efforts to ensure that there is a favorable operating environment for foundations and philanthropy at national and European levels.”
Rosa Gallego, DAFNE Chair adds: “Our collective effort, through sharing our resources, knowledge and experience, is adding value and making a difference in the fragmented and changing environment in which we all work, and there is much more potential to be unleashed.”