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COVID-19 is causing death and a profound social and economic crisis across the world. In addition to the tremendous efforts of our institutions, many EU civil servants feel an obligation to give their personal contribution and help countries and people in need. While the EU is under continuous attack, visible solidarity by EU staff will strengthen the reputation of the EU institutions.
EU Staff for Climate, in cooperation with King Baudouin Foundation, have set up a dedicated fund for EU staff to support the response to the COVID-19 crisis where it is most needed, to help prevent future crises and promote planetary health.
The Fund addresses immediate needs of local organizations that provide emergency response and socio-economic support to the most hit by the effects of the pandemic. We initially focused on Italy and Spain, where the needs for medical equipment, supplies and assistance were the most pressing; now we follow the evolution of the crisis distributing our funds among EU and accession countries were the need arise. Together with our donors we have decided to focus in particular on socioeconomic support to vulnarable groups, psychological support, including to health professionals, and education, with regard to access to online schooling and other forms of support. Environmental awareness is also a key aspect that we will favour when assessing project proposals, in line with the principle of planetary health. After the pandemic, the Fund will support social and economic recovery, inspired by the principles of sustainability, social justice and planetary health.
As EUstaff4Climate, we propose to all colleagues across the EU institutions to donate monthly at least 2% of our salary. This will secure support for both the emergency and the recovery phase, and will ensure a higher symbolic value of our contribution.
Why a dedicated fund for EU staff?
Euroscepticism is on the rise in many of the countries most affected by COVID-19. The EU is often accused of lack of solidarity and indifference. It extremely important that the solidarity of EU staff becomes visible. The Fund will:
- Provide an immediate and substantial financial contribution, to emergency response and post-crisis recovery in the most affected countries.
- Ensure visibility to the donations of EU staff, in order to counter the negative image of a distant and indifferent EU.
Why King Baudouin Foundation?
King Baudouin Foundation is one of the most important philanthropic institutions in Belgium. The Foundation is the animator of the Transnational Giving Europe, is already coordinating fundraising actions for COVID-19 crisis and has long experience in managing corporate solidarity funds. Through their network of European philanthropic institutions, they will help to identify the most urgent needs in different countries and ensure a coordinated response. The foundation being based in Belgium, facilitates the functioning of our partnership.
Why did EUstaff4climate launch this fund?
Global warming, destruction of natural habitats, deforestation and other unintended consequences of our highly interconnected economies contribute to pandemics and generate multiple crises. EUstaff4Climate recognises the nexus between health, climate, biodiversity and socio-economic conditions. All our efforts and initiatives aim to address the multiple threats to human health, well-being and ecosystems through a holistic approach, aimed at responding as well as preventing future crises.
Which organisations do the Fund support?
Following the Foundation’s advice, the aim of the Fund is not limited to short-term support, but to set up a strategy able to respond to emerging needs in the medium term.
In a first stage, the Fund focused on national organisations and big NGOs. Meanwhile, the management committee worked to identify local initiatives, organisations or projects, based on specific needs or requests emerging in the different countries. What sets our Fund apart is that we can be quick and support small local organisations that do not have access to other sources of funding. Together with our donors we have decided to focus in particular on socioeconomic support to vulnarable groups, psychological support, including to health professionals, and education, with regard to access to online schooling and other forms of support. Environmental awareness is also a key aspect that we will favour when assessing project proposals, in line with the principle of planetary health.
Financing decisions are taken in dialogue with the Foundation, which have a key role for identifying needs on the ground via its network of partner foundations in different EU countries. These address to the Fund some of the requests they receive from local organisations. The representatives of EUstaff4Climate ensure that all donations have the greatest impact and visibility in line with the objectives of the Fund.
Once the fund will reach the visibility we aim to, we count on directly receiving requests from initiatives and organisations in different countries. To this aim, the participation of the Fund’s donors is key. EU staff constitute a valuable network with direct links in all EU countries and beyond. We invite all contributors to participate in the identification of potential beneficiaries, by proposing organisations and initiatives dealing with COVID-19 crisis that need support.
How much should I donate and why do you propose 2% of our salary?
Donations are free and any amount will be of great help. Nonetheless, we believe that a periodic contribution of 2% of our salary will increase the impact of our initiative, both in response to the emergency and in recovering the reputation of the EU civil service. The Fund aims at providing regular donations to those in need, and at preventing future crises, in line with the overall long-term vision of EUstaff4Climate.
Can retired officials contribute too?
Retired officials are encouraged to contribute and to disseminate the Fund to other former colleagues.
Are the donations tax deductible in Belgium or in other EU countries?
The King Baudouin Foundation will automatically send one to all donors deductible tax receipts valid for Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Denmark (more info here). Thanks to the Transnational Giving Europe network, this opportunity is also available for donors having fiscal residence in other EU countries.
Will my contribution be acknowledged?
Every year we will report on the activities of the Fund and intend to publish the list of donors – unless they ask us not to.
Can non-EU staff contribute to the Fund?
While in principle the Fund is open to charitable contributions from anybody, we will not actively seek donations from donors outside the EU institutions.
How is the Fund managed?
The Fund’s policy and funding decisions will be made by the management committee, which consists of representatives of EUstaff4Climate, representatives of the King Baudouin Foundation, and is chaired by David O’Sullivan, former Secretary General of the Commission.
The Foundation, will ensure the daily management of the Fund’s affairs including communication, transparency and visibility.
How will I be informed about how my contribution is used?
Information about the amount collected and the organisation financed are shared with all donors via a newsletter and published on our donation page at least once a month. In addition, we organise moments of direct interaction with the management committee online Q&A and ad hoc surveys.
What happens after the COVID-19 crisis is over?
When the health emergency will be over, Europe will face a serious social and economic crisis. This will be a critical moment and our solidarity will be even more necessary to finance the recovery. This will need to take into account multiple challenges such as the climate and environmental crises as well as social inequalities. The Fund will then gradually move to finance initiatives aimed at rebuilding an economy inspired to the principles of sustainability, social justice and planetary health.
How do I donate?
You can donate online via the button below
Or you can donate via a monthly bank transfer directly to the Foundation’s account
IBAN: BE10 0000 0000 0404 // BIC: BPOTBEB1
by indicating the reference number of our Fund
“200640 – EU Staff COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund”
or with the following structured reference number (communication structurée)
Write an e-mail with subject “EU staff COVID-19 Fund” to EU-staff4Climate@ec.europa.eu
A copy of the official agreement with the Foundation can be sent on request.
Contacts King Baudouin Foundation
The content on this website does not engage or express the views of any of the EU institutions.