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

Civitates grants € 1.65 million to support civil society advocates for a healthy digital public sphere

Since its inception in 2018, Civitates and its partner foundations have worked towards tackling issues impacting discourse online such as disinformation and the citizen’s information diet, polarisation, outdated rules or lack thereof, governing how it functions and the power that private companies hold. We funded a wide variety of initiatives to better understand what is happening in the digital public sphere, build the evidence base and advocate for regulation of the digital public sphere in a way that upholds democracy and fundamental rights.  All those initiatives have been aimed at contributing to the fostering of a healthy digital public sphere.

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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