Press Release - Annual Report 2017

 The Fondation de Luxembourg emphasises its European dimension


The year of 2017 was marked by the significant growth of European projects as well as by the recognition of Fondation de Luxembourg as a public utility foundation in France, a first for an umbrella foundation at European level.


-       68 foundations sheltered under the aegis of the Fondation de Luxembourg

-       140 million euros of assets dedicated to the general interest

-       Over 100 charity projects supported around the world



By the end of 2017, the Fondation de Luxembourg had 68 foundations sheltered under its aegis, each of which supported the causes advocated by its founders. A significant trend this year has been support for an increasing number of development projects within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined by the United Nations. With more than 30 million euros allocated to projects spread over five main themes – Poverty and Social Cohesion, Universal Education, Health and Research, Culture and Diversity as well as Biodiversity and Climate Change – the impact of Made in Luxembourg philanthropy continues to grow, both at local and European levels.


In this respect, the international influence of the Fondation de Luxembourg was reinforced in 2017 by the award of charitable foundation status by the French tax authorities. This has opened up new opportunities in terms of donations and bequests by donors outside the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.


The creation of a foundation is often the result of lengthy consideration, sometimes discussed within a family; it is a process that needs support, expertise and a listening ear. According to Henri Grethen, President of the Fondation de Luxembourg: “The evident attractiveness of the Fondation de Luxembourg demonstrates not only the relevance of its structure in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg but also the importance of continually pursuing efforts to promote an ever more dynamic philanthropic sector. With this in mind, the current review of the 1928 law on foundations and associations is a step in the right direction.”


While it is the case that challenges never cease to emerge around the world, the projects that have received support demonstrate that new, sustainable and innovative solutions are being continually developed. Among approximately 100 projects financed in 2017, there was a notable increase in European projects over the year. Of particular note were: a research project on SMART Cities led by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology focusing on the integration of renewable energy in the networks of the cities of tomorrow; the launch of the Pierre Werner Scholarships, awarded to doctoral students for work on European issues; and an ambitious programme to bolster social entrepreneurship in Europe. Major international projects were also launched, working, for example, towards AIDS prevention among young women in Zimbabwe; funding a programme to improve maternal and infant health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and supporting vulnerable young people in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Finally, several foundations have sought to mobilise emergency support to assist victims of the conflicts in the Middle East.


The Fondation de Luxembourg assists philanthropists in working towards their aspirations and seeks to promote synergies. “Future successes will come from a greater collaboration between various players: civil society, governments, international organisations as well as the private sector” emphasises Tonika Hirdman, Director General of the Fondation de Luxembourg. The desire of the Fondation de Luxembourg to bring these players together in 2017 led to the organisation of several conferences and roundtable meetings for philanthropists, civil society and the Luxembourg financial sector. To this was added renewed cooperation with the Luxembourg School of Finance through a two-day training course on philanthropy within the scope of the Master in Wealth Management program.


European philanthropy is currently in an expansion phase and the Fondation de Luxembourg is continuing its efforts to make it a key pillar of the Grand Duchy’s global attractiveness.




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