Bonds, banks, bailouts; every day headlines remind us of how tenuous the situation is in the eurozone. On 12 November, the EFC will convene Europe’s leading foundations and decision-makers in Brussels at its Autumn Assembly conference entitled ‘Foundations and Europe: think, act, change’, to discuss the role of the sector in addressing the wider crisis of the European project.
Much of the conversation to date among foundations about the euro crisis has quite rightly revolved around matters such as maximizing financial returns so that foundations can maintain or even increase spending to support citizens across Europe and elsewhere. However, there is growing realization that the economic crisis could potentially derail the entire European project. Despite 60 years of stability and prosperity, we face some serious socioeconomic problems, as well as a growing sense of disconnect between Europe and its citizens. Is it possible to build a Union that is both competitive and socially cohesive? What has to be done to place citizens back at the centre of Europe? How can we develop a sense of shared destiny and commitment to the goals and values of the European Union?
The Autumn Assembly will explore these existential questions on the future of Europe and will look at how foundations, along with businesses, citizens and civil society, can practically mobilize and better coordinate their work at European level. Delegates will also examine the tools needed to support European integration and revitalize the European project, including the European Foundation Statute, which aims to increase cooperation among foundations, particularly on issues that defy borders, such as the environment, migration, health and socioeconomic innovation.
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