Declaration of Responsibility

The European Cultural Foundation is an independent foundation working for a united Europe. We promote a European sentiment through culture, by developing and supporting initiatives that let us share, experience and imagine Europe.


The European Cultural Foundation has the ANBI ‘Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling’ status, meaning that the Foundation’s objective is to improve the wellbeing of the public. Since our objectives are fully related to culture more specifically, we were granted Cultural ANBI status. This status comes with additional tax benefits for donors. The European Cultural Foundation itself is not tax exempt.

Our RSIN ‘Rechtspersonen en Samenwerkingsverbanden Informatienummer’ / Fiscal number is 002967327. Our Chamber of Commerce number is 41199699.

Articles of Association

The European Cultural Foundation adheres to our Articles of Association and By-Laws. The current versions of both were approved by our Supervisory Board, on 17 December 2015 and 28 May 2019 respectively. We regularly assess whether these documents are still accurate; if necessary, they are reviewed and updated. The latest version of our Articles of Association is deposited at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

The European Cultural Foundation has three main sources of income:

1. Income from the lotteries
Through a long-standing agreement with the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (PCBF), renewed most recently on 2 February 2012, the Foundation receives 25% of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds’ non-earmarked lottery income.

2. Fundraised income
The European Cultural Foundation receives funding from commercial, non-profit and government institutions. We actively pursue these opportunities. Not all income received from the above-mentioned parties is considered fundraised income, according to the definition of the CBF.

3. Income from ECF’s securities portfolio
The European Cultural Foundation has a reserve in the form of a securities portfolio, which is managed externally by an asset manager. Our ambition is to cover our overhead expenses with the income generated through this securities portfolio. Furthermore, this securities portfolio acts as a buffer, allowing the organisation to continue operating for a limited period in case there is a drop in income.

Codes, rules and guidelines

Since July 2014, the European Cultural Foundation has held the CBF (Central Bureau for Fundraising Organisations) seal of approval for fundraising organisations. Since then, as a member of Goede Doelen Nederland, the European Cultural Foundation complies with all the necessary codes and guidelines, including the annually reviewed code for good governance (issued by the FIN, the Dutch Alliance of Philanthropic organisations) and the ‘Erkenningspaspoort Goede Doelen’.

Full overview of the Goede Doelen Nederland codes, rules and guidelines

In line with this, we adhere to the following three principles:
1. A clear separation between the roles of:
a. Management (ECF’s Director)
b. Supervision (ECF’s Supervisory Board)
c. Execution (ECF’s employees)
2. Optimising interaction with stakeholders
3. Optimising effectiveness and efficiency of expenditure

1. A clear separation between management, supervision and execution
The European Cultural Foundation makes a clear distinction between management, supervision and execution. The Supervisory Board appoints and supervises the Director. While the Director has managerial responsibilities, the Supervisory Board oversees the proper execution of these responsibilities. The Foundation’s employees carry out the day-to-day tasks.

a. Management

Director’s responsibilities

The European Cultural Foundation’s management consists of one Director. The Director is responsible for representing the Foundation, and carries the responsibility for overall management, strategic development, execution of the Foundation’s strategy, management of the Foundation’s resources (human and monetary) and fund development.

At least twice a year, the Director formally reports to the Supervisory Board in a meeting in which the Director, the Supervisory Board and the Head of Finance are present. More regular and informal contact is maintained outside these meetings with individual members of the Supervisory Board.

Every week, the Director meets with the Management Team (MT) to discuss strategic matters as well as to monitor activities and operational matters. The MT consists of the Head of Finance, Heads of Programmes, Head of Public Policy, Head of Communications and Head of Operations.


André Wilkens is Director of the European Cultural Foundation. He was appointed on 15 November 2018. Prior to this appointment, André Wilkens held the following positions:

  • Managing Director, Die Offene Gesellschaft, Berlin (2016-2018)
  • Director, Mercator Centre Berlin (2009-2015)
  • Head of Strategic Communications, UNHCR, Geneva (2009)
  • Director, Open Society Institute, Brussels (2003-2009)
  • Director, Ogilvy & Mather communications agency, Brussels (1999-2003)
  • Programme Manager, European Training Foundation, Turin (1994-1999)
  • Programme Manager, European Cooperation Fund, Brussels (1992-1994)
  • Assistant to MEP, European Parliament, Brussels (1991).

Additional roles:

  • Board Chair, Tactical Tech, Berlin (Member since 2015, Chair since 2017)
  • Founder / Board Member, Initiative Offene Gesellschaft (since 2016 / since 2018)
  • Founding member, European Council of Foreign Relations (since 2007).
  • Member of the Advisory Board, Co/Rizom (since 2018)

b. Supervision

Supervisory Board’s responsibilities

The Supervisory Board is the European Cultural Foundation’s supervisory body. The Foundation’s Articles of Association and By-Laws state the roles and responsibilities of the Supervisory Board members.
The main responsibilities can be summarised as follows:

  • deciding upon and evaluating the Foundation’s strategy, and prioritising the Foundation’s activities
  • evaluating the efficient use of the Foundation’s resources (approval of budget and annual reporting of the Director and the Chair of the Supervisory Board in the ECF Annual Report)
  • appointing the Foundation’s Director, members of the Supervisory Board and the President.

Supervisory Board as of 31 December 2021
At the end of this document, we have published a list of additional roles and responsibilities by Supervisory Board member.

  • HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (President)
  • Gerry Salole (Chair from 26 November)
  • Rien van Gendt (Vice-Chair from 26 November; Chair ad interim 1 January – 26 November)
  • Rob Defares (Treasurer)
  • Isabel Alçada (until 26 November)
  • Florian Dautil
  • Mária Hlavajová (until 28 May)
  • Andrea Silvestri
  • Catarina Vaz Pinto (from 26 November)
  • Rana Zincir Celal
  • James Kennedy (Advisor representing Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds; until 19 March 2021*)

* During their 19 March 2021 meeting the ECF Supervisory Board approved the proposal of PBCF in which the respective (Supervisory) Boards of ECF and the Cultuurfonds agree to end the practice of mutual representation on each other’s (Supervisory) Boards.


Appointments for the European Cultural Foundation’s Supervisory Board are based on a number of core criteria, including expertise, international perspective, cultural, regional and demographic diversity and a European network. Additional functions should be of value and should