civitates

A philanthropic initiative for democracy and solidarity in Europe

Civitates provides funding for civil society actors to come together, revitalise public discourse, and ensure that all voices are heard. Because we need a strong civil society to shape vibrant and open European democracies that work for all.

In the spotlight

Civic engagement goes beyond capital cities

Without the engagement of people from different social groups and demographics in public matters, one cannot build a democracy, nor counter polarisation. Still, civic engagement has been reserved predominantly for European capital regions where the effects of certain policies on people’s lives are immediately perceived.

In several countries in Europe, there is a tangible difference between the urban and rural population in terms of political preferences, lifestyle, age, and civic participation. Part of the reason for this difference is a strong emigration from the rural areas by the young and educated population, leaving an older age group behind. Therefore, several of Civitates’ grantee partners have made it a priority to expand civic engagement beyond the capital cities.

We support

Strong and resilient civil society

A vibrant civil society is a key ingredient for democracy. Both NGOs and more informal movements help us make sure that governments are taking decisions that consider all of us. Such civil society groups allow us to join our voices together and make ourselves heard so we can speak regularly to our elected representatives and ensure they provide the appropriate support and care to everyone. Civil society keeps people in power on their toes. 

Healthy digital public sphere

The public sphere is a forum through which information is distributed and where citizens inform themselves, gather, share ideas and content, form opinions, voice their concerns, and mobilise. 

Digital technology and social media have fundamentally changed the way information is produced, distributed, and consumed. This expansion of the public sphere has brought with it a set of opportunities and challenges.

Independent public-interest journalism

Journalism plays a vital role in a democratic society. Often referred to as the fourth pillar of democracy, it provides a platform for dialogue and debate, helping individuals to form their opinions and participate as informed citizens in democratic processes. It also monitors governmental and corporate (in)actions, holding those in power to account. As research has shown, the health of independent media is linked to the health of democracy, with each powering the other

Get in touch

Location

Philanthropy House, Rue Royale 94, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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