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.
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In the spotlight

Platforms’ algorithms and recommender systems are dangerous for democracy

For citizens to participate fully in democratic processes, they need to be able to make informed decisions. In the last decades, the internet made information more accessible than ever. Paradoxically, however, we seem to be getting less and less information of public interest while being shut into online echo chambers that reinforce our views and prevent us from holding healthy and fruitful dialogues. Platforms that use algorithms and recommender systems have a fair share of responsibility in this situation.

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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