Debate sparked between MEPs and philanthropists on Idea of single market philanthropy


Alliance magazine


Members of European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee and stakeholders from philanthropy, recently discussed creating a European space for donors and fostering cross-border giving, solidarity and civil action at the ‘Single Market for Philanthropy – Helping unlock the potential for public good across Europe’ debate.

Opening the debate, Nicola Beer, Vice President of the European Parliament, spoke on the potential between foundations and civil society organisations in working with one another. A cross-party alliance emerged at the debate.

Kerstin Jorna, Deputy Director General in DG ECFIN said, ‘There is at present a new impetus for an EU social economy, philanthropy and civic engagement initiative advancing EU values, democracy and an inclusive and sustainable prosperity.’

Jorna spoke about how Philanthropy has the potential to underpin European values, and suggested the sector partner with stakeholders to eradicate inequality, provide space for innovation, help overcome social and political divisions, and connect with the needs of people.

Paul Nemitz, Principle Adviser at DG Justice, said that politicians are unified over the idea that the time is politically right for re-launching ideas on a single market for philanthropy.

To create a European space for donors, MEPs, Sven Giegold and Sergey Lagodinsky discussed a potential proposal for a 29th regime of a ‘European public benefit statute.’ Regulatory tax barriers, affecting cross-border philanthropy within the EU, currently undermine this.

MEP, Maria Da Grace Carvalho stated, ‘The role of foundations for our society is essential, as they focus on areas often neglected by the for-profit sector and forgotten by the public sector. Their involvement is therefore perfectly complementary to EU funds, activities and expertise.’

The debate highlighted a cross-party alliance between Greens, Renew, EPP and S&D.

The Romanian Council Presidency issued an EESC opinion on Philanthropy, calling on the EU to promote organised philanthropy, and asking for elimination of barriers within the internal market.

Ionut Sibian, Romanian Member of the EESC stated, ‘The EESC is ready to collaborate with the European Parliament and the European Commission with future joint events on philanthropy and protecting European values, including in the context of the future European Democracy Action Plan and the two-year Conference on the Future of Europe.’

Read more about the debate here.

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