The Global Philanthropy Environment Index “Western Europe” region includes Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Lichtenstein, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Despite COVID-19, only a few changes have been reported from the nine Western European countries. Basically, the environment remained stable and favorable for philanthropy. Legal frameworks are predictable, as is politics in most countries. Minor changes in tax law both for philanthropic organizations (POs) and donors even improved the situation for POs. Within the EU, there is an intensive collaboration between the public sector and POs. In particular, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland can still be characterized as corporatist regimes with a strong and stable axis between POs and the public sector. In the UK and in Ireland, POs have always established a strong and autonomous position as actors.
Challenges will arise, however, from the need for social innovation and change, and traditional POs facing new actors such as social entrepreneurs, public agencies, and funds. Nevertheless, the future of the political and cultural environment is uncertain. Right-wing populists have gained remarkable strength in the electorates of Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and even in Germany, but at a lower level.