The origin of European Union Foundation

European Union Foundation

The Foundation under the name "Instytut Europejski Pro Futuro Europae" was established by a notarial deed by the notary public running the Notary's Office in Katowice on June 24, 2005, Rep A number 3555/2005. The Foundation operates on the basis of the provisions of the Act of 6 April 1984 on foundations (Journal of Laws of 1991, No. 46, item 203) and the statute's requirements. For the first ten years of its operation, the Foundation had its headquarters in Katowice, then in Krakow, and now, due to the expansion of its activities, the foundation has its headquarters in Warsaw and registered field offices in Katowice and Krakow, shown in Box 3 of the National Court Register. Field branches do not have legal personalities. The European Institute Foundation is an initiative created by people interested in European and international problems, as well as the development of Poland in Europe. Educational programs, including non-formal education, play a key role in the Foundation's activities, as one of our goals is to strengthen civic engagement in Poland and Europe and develop entrepreneurship.

The European Institute Foundation is an initiative created by individuals dedicated to addressing international issues and supporting Poland within Europe. The Foundation plays a key role in supporting educational programs, including non-formal education, with the intention of fostering civic engagement in Poland and Europe, as well as promoting entrepreneurship." 

The history of almost 18 years of the Foundation's activity has its roots in the Polish Youth Council - a patron organization of large youth organizations and student non-governmental organizations, which operated in 2003-2005, and in the creation of which the Founders were involved. (It was in the years of Poland's accession to the European Union, and the first attempts to create a forum for the cooperation of youth organizations ended a few years later with the establishment of the existing structure: the Polish Council of Youth Organizations). We used the experience gained to effectively build a permanent organization - the Foundation, which, not involved in politics, gives a chance to implement various projects related to civil society.

The Foundation's goals include: activities supporting the development of communities and local communities; activities in the field of science, education, informal education, education, and upbringing; strengthening international youth cooperation; dissemination and protection of freedom and human rights as well as civil liberties, along with activities supporting the development of democracy; activities for European integration and the development of contacts and cooperation between societies; promotion and organization of volunteering; dissemination and protection of women's rights and activities for equal rights for women and men; organizing a social movement around the idea of the Foundation and activating people of science, culture, education, and business in the country and abroad for its benefit, as well as activities supporting non-governmental organizations technically, training, information or financially.

Among the many possible methods of operation, the following should be mentioned that have become the Foundation's specialization over the years of operation: organizing lectures, seminars, conferences, and meetings to transfer knowledge as well as collect data and information on the Foundation's activities; conducting information, promotion and training activities, organizing informal education, especially for young people, organizing student internships, and volunteering. Particularly noteworthy is the cooperation with domestic, foreign and international foundations and associations with the same or similar profile of activity.

The Foundation has a network of international contacts and partnerships, developed over many years of operation. The most important partners come from Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Lithuania and Cyprus. We also have partners in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia, and - outside the EU - in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Israel. This is a huge potential for future projects in the field of international cooperation and the opportunity to share experiences and promote the Polish point of view abroad.

In Poland, the European Institute Foundation has established very good relations with organizations that activate citizens in the social and entrepreneurial fields. These are, for example, Academic Incubators of Entrepreneurship or the Association of Regional Initiatives in Tarnów, but also smaller entities such as the Olszynka Foundation or the Artistic Institute for Children and Youth Development. We also cooperate with local governments: currently, together with the city of Mysłowice and the city of Imielin in the Śląskie Voivodeship, we are implementing projects under the Citizen.IT program, the aim of which is to improve the digital competencies of people over 25 living in the Śląskie and Opolskie Voivodeships. Our partner in the implementation of projects in Silesia was also the Chamber of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises in Katowice.

The scope of the activity is nationwide. In recent years, the Foundation has implemented projects in such diverse places as Warsaw, Krakow, Ustroń, Wetlina and Krynica Morska. People involved in the work of the Foundation live in Warsaw, Krakow, Tarnów, Katowice, Lublin, Łódź, Wrocław, Bydgoszcz and Gdańsk. However, in a special way, the Foundation's activity focused on the area of the Śląskie and Małopolskie voivodeships. It is there that the history of the Foundation began and also today the issues of these provinces are the most close to the Institute's experts, despite the establishment of the Foundation's headquarters in Warsaw.

The Foundation has received several grants from EU programs in the field of education and youth: "Youth", "Youth for Europe", "Erasmus", and "Erasmus+". Our funder was also the International Visegrad Fund. Among the implemented projects, it is worth mentioning projects focusing on youth participation in public life, including local government and regional life: e.g. Entrepreneurial Skills, Digital Skills for Youth Participation, Video and Social Media for Youth Participation. Other international projects are also important achievements in the Foundation's portfolio: "Education in peace through sport", "Let's meet again" (with Israel), "Open yourself to dialogue" (with Ukraine), "Green culture", "3 x Yes!”, “Ecopower”, “Languages of cultures”, “Tell me your story”. All the above-mentioned projects involved dozens of participants, including those from the European Union and Eastern Partnership countries. We estimate that during the existence of the Foundation, over a thousand people were the addressees of our activities, and this number is certainly higher when it comes to indirect beneficiaries. We have the necessary competencies in the preparation of grants and implementation of projects financed from public funds, as well as reporting and settlement in accordance with the standards.