European Foundation Project

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What is the European Foundation Statute?[edit]

The European Foundation Statute is an optional and simple tool that will help foundations to better channel their resources into improving the lives of people in a wide range of areas. It aims to establish the legal form of a European Foundation which would be additional - but also complementary - to existing national forms. It would be legally recognised in all Member States and would operate under the same set of conditions across the EU.

Why is it needed?[edit]

Foundations and their funders are increasingly working across borders. However, a number of legal and administrative barriers are hampering foundations’ current work. The lack of appropriate legal tools means that new European initiatives by foundations are delayed or abandoned.

A European Foundation Statute would offer them an appropriate legal tool to perform and increase their work and operations across Europe, while reducing costly administrative burden.


On 8 February 2012, the European Commission presented a proposal on a European Foundation Statute.[1] This proposal has now be shared with the Council of Ministers representing the governments of the 27 Member States for review and approval and to the European Parliament for its consent.

The European Parliament pledged support to European Statutes for foundations, associations and mutual societies with the signatures by a majority of its Members of a Written Declaration in February 2011.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU’s official advisory body on social and economic matters, has given a clear and strong backing to the Statute by approving with a large majority of the votes the opinion drafted by EESC member Mall Hellam on 28 April 2010. The opinion urges the European Commission to present a proposal for a Regulation on a European Foundation Statute to support public-benefit activities for its adoption by the Council and the European Parliament in due course.

The campaign to obtain the European Foundation Statute is led by the European Foundation Centre and the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE).

External links[edit]