The topic of ‘legitimacy of foundations’ is of critical interest to the EFC and its members, given recent public scrutiny of foundation activities, spending and influence. In a somewhat mistrustful and sceptical public climate, philanthropic institutions are being asked: what roles should foundations play in society? What responsibilities and duties come with these roles? How can foundations demonstrate their added value to society? How can foundations be more proactive to prevent misunderstandings and create an environment of greater trust?
The EFC has created new space for discussion on this issue and others critical to foundations, in the form of a new annual event, the Autumn Assembly, which will be launched this year. The first-ever EFC Autumn Assembly, set to take place on 7 November in Brussels, is a content-driven gathering that will bring together EFC and DAFNE members with representatives of the EU institutions to explore and debate a particular theme. The 2011 event will focus on ‘Legitimacy of Foundations’.
This one-day meeting will feature a rapid-fire series of short debates on a number of issues around a central theme. The event will take place each year in November in Brussels at the European Economic and Social Committee, and will include the autumn meeting of the EFC Governing Council and the annual meeting of the newly formed Foundation Council of Europe.