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

Beyond the technical: Why the DSA matters for Democracy

Policy-makers across the world have acknowledged the importance and urgency of establishing certain norms and rules for the functioning of the digital public sphere. Several legislative proposals at the EU level are trying to address the tech-induced challenges such as platforms’ accountability and transparency, polarisation, and disinformation. As those proposals are taking shape, it is vital that we keep in mind their purpose and make sure it doesn’t get diluted in technical terms.

The European Partnership for Democracy, a Civitates grantee partner and an organisation with a global remit to support democracy recently published an article explaining the importance of the Digital Services Act for Democracy in Europe and potentially beyond.

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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Philanthropy House, Rue Royale 94, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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