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The EU needs a non-profit single market

Back on Track with Verena Ringler

21. August 2019
Magazine > Voices > The EU needs a non-profit single market

Join us for a train ride with Verena Ringler, director of European Commons and curator of the Tipping Point Talks 2019. She helps prepare the ground for the next EU and proposes to do things differently to do different things. In the second episode she explains why its time for the EU to set up a non-profit single market.

“Over the past couple of months, I met with European policy makers and diplomats. They pointed to troubles in Poland, they voiced concerns about Brexit and pointed to politicians who drive wedges between people. And they said: Where are the NGOs? Where is Europe’s non-profit sector when we really need it? What and where is non-profit Europe? Well, on a given day, Europe’s private sector turns around millions of euros, the state quota is also still at 45%. But then you look at the non-profit sector, and it’s dwindling to the size of a bread crumb down here on the floor. And even that little bread crumb is fragmented and not professionalised. The single market, as we know it, is only here for profits. But there is a huge asymmetry between non-profit Europe and for-profit Europe. There is still no good European association statute, no European foundation statute, no European corporate form for non-profit start-ups or social innovators. And no European non-profit limited company. So, this means, no matter whether I’m a person rich in money, a potential grant maker, or whether I’m a person rich in ideas, an activist, a potential grant taker, for both of us, the European Union still feels like 1987 if we want to operate across the borders of Europe. And why is that? We need to hire tax lawyers, we need to cut through red tape, we need to ask the legal experts, we need to find out how and whether we can even create a legal entity in that neighbouring country in the EU. In order to overcome this asymmetry of playing fields and in order to unleash the power and potential of non-profit Europe, we need to create a non-profit single market.”

This text and video is published under the Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. The name of the author/rights holder should be mentioned as followed. Author: Jovana Trifunovic and Igor Bararon / erstestiftung.org. Cover picture: Verena Ringler, film still. Photo: © Igor Bararon / ERSTE Stiftung.


Back on Track

As our world is facing major geopolitical shifts and challenges, from the rise of nationalism to increased demands for privacy, from balancing growing human needs with environmental limits, there is undoubtedly space for major improvements. We see civil society as the key driving force in this process and have therefore launched the video series Back on Track about social engagement and activism as a clear sign of support to the dedicated change makers in our societies. The Video The EU needs a non-profit single market is the second episode of the second season of Back on Track.