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

Our digital rights monitoring has shown that citizens were the most affected parties of rights violations while abuses arising from these violations are rarely addressed by states.

Sofija Todorovic

Project coordinator, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network

Enjoying the internet while staying safe online

BIRN, together with SHARE foundation, has been monitoring how digital rights violations in Central and South-Eastern Europe are impacting democracy and human rights even before the pandemic changed people’s lives. With the pandemic, however, they saw a tremendous growth of rights violations linked to Covid-19. In order not to jeopardise their regulator monitoring, BIRN applied for Opportunities funds with Civitates, to provide accurate information about digital threats during the time of the pandemic and determine who are the main actors that limit the rights and freedom in the digital environment in South-eastern and Central Europe region (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Hungary, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia).

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

Public discourse plays a vital role in open, democratic societies. It is an important forum through which people can voice their concerns and form opinions. Moreover, public discourse provides input for decision making processes. Digitisation has fundamentally changed the way information is produced, distributed and consumed and thereby affects the public discourse. The implications of these changes cannot yet be fully grasped.

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

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Location

Philanthropy House, Rue Royale 94, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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