Based on the belief that democratic governance is one of the fundamental values on which Europe is constructed, this field of action seeks to support democracy in Europe and in the world.


Fund for Democracy and Solidarity in Europe

The Fund for Democracy and Solidarity in Europe has just been established within NEF in 2017. It aims at becoming a permanent feature which allows Funders to join efforts and contribute to the revitalization of European democracies.In the starting phase, the Fund will focus on two specific and crucial elements of a vibrant democracy namely: a healthy civil society and a high quality of public discourse.

In the first strand the fund will work on the shrinking space for civil society organisations, it takes hold on the provision of a first line of defense for CSOs under threat across Europe.The second strand of the fund will look at the citizens’ right to know in an era of digitalisation and decline of quality information in the public discourse. The Fund will work through independent journalists and independent media outlets, favouring explanatory and investigative journalism.

Fikra-Tunisia Joint Fund

Fikra is a pooled fund initiated by NEF and chaired by the Foundation de France. Immediately after the Arab Spring, many European donors expressed an interest in actively contributing to the democratic transition of Tunisia. By establishing Fikra, the Tunisia Joint Fund, foundations support community development initiatives that contribute to the societal transition.  Fikra, which means ‘idea’ in Arabic, has supported 62 community development projects with grants since the first call in June 2013.

European Fund for the Balkans

The European Fund for the Balkans is a joint initiative of European foundations that envisions, runs and supports initiatives aimed at strengthening democracy, fostering European integration and affirming the role of the Western Balkans in addressing Europe’s emerging challenges. It is chaired by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The programme‘s strategy is based on three overarching areas – Capacity Development, Policy Development and Regional Cooperation, which are channelled via flagship programmes and selected projects, and complemented with actions arising from EFB’s regional identity as a relevant player in its fields of focus.

New Pact for Europe

Given the state of today’s Union, there is an urgent need to foster debate at all levels, exchanging views across the EU to provide insights into other countries’ interests and viewpoints. This could help member states and the Union as a whole to weather the crises, become proactive once more, and initiate and implement policies that go well beyond the lowest common denominator. Building on analysis and proposals elaborated in previous phases of the New Pact for Europe project in 2016-2017, the funding strand will explore how the EU can better serve the interests of its member states and citizens through a series of national and transnational debates on key policy challenges.

FutureLab Europe

FutureLab is a programme chaired by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in conjunction with seven foundations aiming at encouraging active citizenship in Europe. For its 2017 edition, FutureLab Europe will support 20 bright and committed young Europeans who want to play a role in the future of Europe by implementing a project with a civic impact.

Philanthropy in a Disruptive Era: Discovering Philanthropy, Discovering America

The current initiative originated in 2009 with the establishment of the European Philanthropy Research and Learning Initiative, the objective of which is to promote research and learning in the European philanthropy sector, as well as recognition of the sector’s essential link to civic engagement and American philanthropy ecosystems. The new project is designed as a multi-phase initiative that will explore the evolving roles of philanthropy and the state in addressing societal challenges and supporting the common good. It is supported by several American foundations and European foundations are in the pipeline.

Learning democracy

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‘Europe and Me’ toolkit 2009

It is designed for young people and their teachers, explores the ways in which some of the European policy areas – such as the environment, consumer protection, employment, minority rights and international aid – impact their daily lives.

You can click here to download the PDF version.

Europe and Me is available in French, German, Spanish, Flemish, Polish and Swedish

You can download separated animated versions in English and Italian of ‘Europe of Me’ (power point files)



‘Schools for society’ handbook 2009

The handbook Schools for society distils good policy and practice with regard to school as a democratic space, both in its internal organisation and in its relationships with the outside community.

“Schools for Society” is also available in Italian.

Religion and Democracy in Europe

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 Dossier 2010

The reports of the series Religion and Democracy in Europe, drafted by acknowledged experts in different fields, map existing practices and different approaches to specific issues of concern and are designed to interest policy makers, practitioners and civil society.

Report on Religion and Healthcare in the European Union, by Dimitrina Petrova

Report on Teaching about Religions in European School Systems, by Luce Pépin (English and original French Version)

Report on Conflicts over Mosques in Europe, by Stefano Allievi

Report on Religion and Prejudice in Europe, New Empirical Findings, by Beate Küpper & Andreas Zick

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Books 2009

Religion and Democracy in Contemporary Europe, edited by Gabriel Motzkin and Yochi Fischer.

Mosques in Europe – Why a solution has become a problem, edited by Stefano Allievi