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Media Release

ERSTE Foundation and ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation seal alliance to promote social welfare projects in Central and Eastern Europe

10. July 2015

These measures will revolve around three initiatives established by ”la Caixa” Foundation: Incorpora, a programme for integration into employment; a Leadership Training Programme for NGO Managers; and Comisart, a programme of grants to promote emerging curators in the field of contemporary art.

“Our social commitment is intrinsic to our financial activity, both in Spain and beyond our borders. There can’t be better proof of this than our alliance with ERSTE Foundation, which will allow our organisation’s action to reach countries in Central and Eastern Europe”, said Isidro Fainé, president of ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation.

“Since 2005, ERSTE Foundation supports civil society in Central and Eastern Europe in the fields of social development, culture and European integration. We are very happy to team up now with such a distinguished institution as “laCaixa” Banking Foundation, as it will allow us to build on decades of “laCaixa’s” experience to implement projects that will help people in Central and South-Eastern Europe to meet the challenges and opportunities that this region faces”, commented Franz Karl Prüller, Chairman of the Managing Board of ERSTE Foundation about the alliance of the two foundations.

Promoting employment

The goal of the Incorpora programme is to promote the integration into employment of vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, the long-term unemployed, victims of gender violence, young people at risk of exclusion and former prison inmates. Since the project was launched in Spain in 2007, Incorpora has helped to provide more than 94,000 jobs. Incorpora is also active in Morocco and Poland.

Now, with the cooperation of ERSTE Foundation, Incorpora will be launched in Hungary. In an initial phase, ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation will help to adapt the Incorpora model implemented in Spain to circumstances in the Hungarian employment market, advising on the selection of partner social organisations and training employment integration personnel, among other actions.

Training for NGO Managers

The agreement signed today also provides for cooperation in implementing the Leadership Training Programme for NGO Managers, which is aimed at developing management skills, helping to create a culture that encourages improvement to the internal management of organisations and fostering a culture of economic transparency and efficiency. Over the course of 2015, ”la Caixa” Bank Foundation and ERSTE Foundation plan to launch a series of joint training activities aimed at managers of NGOs.

Two Art Collections for Young Curators

In the cultural sphere, an outstanding initiative is Comisart, which, as a result of this agreement, will also be launched in the Erste’s home region. Established by ”la Caixa” Bank Foundation in 2013, Comisart is a programme of grants awarded to promote emerging curators in the field of contemporary art with the aim of helping to professionalise the sector.

The cooperation agreement with the ERSTE Foundation will now enable Comisart to become international, giving young curators the chance to take part in ”la Caixa” Foundation’s programme to work with the art collections conserved by both organisations.

The agreement with the ERSTE Foundation contributes to ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation’s goal of extending its social action to assist vulnerable groups in all geographical areas where the organisation has established financial alliances. In this case, the initiative is the result of CaixaBank acquiring a stake in Erste Group Bank AG, which is the leading financial services provider in the Eastern part of the European Union.

Further information:

ERSTE Foundation Communication Department
Maribel Königer: 050100 15453,

la Caixa Banking Foundation Communication Department
Juan A. García: 913 307 317 / 608 213 095
Marina Teixidó: 934 044 092 / 608 099 023

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