On the eve of the renewal of the European Parliament, in front of 750 representatives of institutional philanthropy from all over the world, in particular Europe and the United States, the Chair of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) Massimo Lapucci closed the three-days of the annual conference in Paris, the most important event in the sector, entitled "Liberté, égalité, philanthropie": to paraphrase the famous motto of the French revolution, the EFC Conference wanted to emphasize that the universal values of freedom, equality and solidarity are not still fully realized, in a global context marked by growing disparities and the emergence of illiberal and divisive tendencies.
On the 30th anniversary of the EFC, born on the same day as the fall of the Berlin Wall, EFC Chair Lapucci launched a new challenge for a new ecosystem of philanthropy in Europe: "We must have the courage - he said - to explore the feasibility for the consolidation of EFC and DAFNE, potentially leading to a merger, in order to optimize the capacity for dialogue with EU institutions and maximize the impact of the 150,000 European foundations. A more cohesive and, therefore, stronger, authoritative and effective philanthropy, in fact, is the winning formula not only for the sector, but also for Europe, to strengthen the principles on which the common house is based and evolve towards a more equitable and more united society ".
Recalling that philanthropy in Europe manages assets of 500 billion euros and brings in resources of 60 billion a year for collective and social utility purposes, EFC Chair Lapucci affirmed: “Without distorting themselves, foundations must be inspired by the business world, incorporating in their DNA the rigor of asset management, efficiency and transparency. At the same time, foundations have a duty to be innovative in using their returns to create social impact, amplifying their action with the use of impact investing tools, with a better interpretation of Big Data for the common good and with European co-financing mechanisms through the 38 billion euro guarantee fund of the InvestEU 2021-2027 program”.
Wishing good luck with their work to the new European Parliament that will come out of the ballot boxes next Sunday, Massimo Lapucci said: “After the elections we will re-launch our appeal for a Single Market of Philanthropy, with the full guarantee of all the fundamental freedoms that, paradoxically, are still missing, a quarter of a century after the Maastricht Treaty. Just as the latter had a profound impact on the future development of European integration, a single market for philanthropy would have a profound impact on the future development of our sector, which brings clear and tangible benefits to citizens, communities and society as a whole. How can philanthropy best fulfill its mission to rebalance inequalities, in a world in which 1% of the population possesses more wealth than the remaining 99% of humanity, if there are still barriers between States to the free circulation of non-profit resources?”.
From this point of view, the “European Manifesto of Philanthropy”, promoted by EFC and Daphne to create a favorable environment for the sector and make the impact of private resources more effective for the common good, is a bridge between the European legislature that has just ended and the next one that is about to open.
“We Europeans - concluded Massimo Lapucci - must be able to grasp the transformations of philanthropy in other areas of the world, starting from China, where the rapid development of the sector is emerging with extraordinary energy. It is time to work together, to grow thanks to the comparison and collaboration through common platforms with the United States, Asia and Africa: so you can exchange best practices and build networks of trust, knowledge and awareness that are not episodic and superficial, but lasting and deep”.