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.
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In the spotlight

Mosquitos can take on elephants: Reflections from Civitates’ and the European AI Fund’s ecosystem building workshop

In the battle to shape digital technologies so that they serve the public interest, civil society is up against the vast resources and influence of the tech industry. That’s a daunting challenge for a sector that’s still small and emergent and to meet it, civil society needs to collaborate.

That’s why last November, Civitates and the European AI Fund brought together 40 people from their grantees that work on different aspects of digital and tech policy to foster connections and identify the best ways to support each other. Along with participants from our funding partners, they exchanged inspirational ideas for collective action from other sectors like the climate movement, gained insights into EU advocacy strategies, and reflected on the infrastructure that is needed to work better together.

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

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