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 to fund 14 national coalitions for strong and resilient civil society

Over the last years, CSOs all over Europe have voiced increasing concern about the legal and practical limitations affecting their work and their operating environment: including restrictions on freedoms of association, assembly or protest, administrative harassment, budget cuts or difficulties to access funding or reduced access to policy-makers and opportunities to participate in the policymaking process. In more extreme situations, we have also witnessed attacks on activists, human rights defenders, and critical voices, including smear campaigns aimed at delegitimising and stigmatising CSOs, independent media, and other critical voices.

These challenges are often cumulative, putting pressure on civic actors and affecting the environment in which civil society operates.

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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Location

Philanthropy House, Rue Royale 94, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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