EU Ministers responsible for industry and research policies have begun to recognize the potential role of foundations as partners in the field of research and development (R&D). In November 2005, they called on EU Member States and the European Commission to ‘explore ways to develop the potential of philanthropy as a source of funding for research’.
This call coincided with the release of policy recommendations by the Commission’s Expert Group on Research Foundations. If implemented, these could create incentives for, and/or remove obstacles from, foundations, their donors and research institutes to help increase investment in R&D in Europe. The European Commission set up the Expert Group in 2004 to make concrete recommendations at national and European levels specifically on promoting the role of foundations in increasing investment in R&D. The recommendations of the Group will be addressed to governments, EU institutions, foundations, industry, universities and the general public.
The EFC has submitted a series of recommendations in the framework of the Group to improve the legal and tax position of foundations and to ease cross-border giving, based on the work of the Centre’s EU Committee and its Legal and Tax Task Forces.
The Commission will hold a follow-up conference, ‘Giving More for Research in Europe: Strengthening the Role of Philanthropy in the Financing of Research’, from 27 to 29 March in Brussels. The EFC is working with them on the organization of this event.
Later in the year, the Expert Group’s recommendations and the outcomes of the conference will be discussed by foundations at the EFC 17th Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Conference, ‘Foundations for Europe: Supporting European Citizens’ Participation’, also in Brussels, from 26 to 28 May.
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