Defend Democracy: Why?
Democracy is being undermined from all sides – not least from within our own societies. The most stable liberal democracies are not immune. Hope lies in the unprecedented grassroots mobilisation we have seen on both sides of the Atlantic, as it fights back against deepening autocratisation. Defend Democracy proudly and passionately supports this mobilisation. Our name is a call to action to governments, lawmakers and institutions, and a name that invites everyone to join us in being active citizens.
Defend Democracy: What?
What started as an informal project on 8 November 2017, now is a fully-fledged legal entity: Defend Democracy is registered as a nonprofit foundation in The Hague, the Dutch capital that symbolises peace, justice and security. Most of our day-to-day work remains in Brussels and Washington DC. We are independent, nonpartisan and transatlantic. Our mission is to defend and strengthen liberal democracy against internal, external and technological threats.
Defend Democracy: How?
We work on the frontline: building awareness, shaping advocacy and taking action. To achieve our mission, we work through communication, cooperation and community. Our signature event is already on the map: #DemocracyDrinks now take place in Brussels, Berlin and Washington DC, and we plan to bring them to The Hague, Vilnius, Kyiv, Copenhagen, London and Madrid later this year. (Adapting to the corona virus, our Democracy Drinks have temporarily gone digital.)
Defend Democracy: Who?
Founder and Executive Director:
Alice Stollmeyer is a former Digital Advocacy Strategist. With a solid background in ‘Science, technology and society’ in 2012 Alice founded her own consultancy @StollmeyerEU, which specialised in EU public affairs, political communications and digital advocacy. She has been ranked a top digital EU influencer ever since (#1 female digital EU influencer 2019).
Supervisory Board (generously offering their time in a personal capacity):
Martijntje Smits is Senior researcher, lecturer and advisor on issues of Science, technology & society. She is experienced in building bridges between technical and social disciplines, and likes to address multidisciplinary questions to jointly develop new visions and ideas for socially and ethically robust technologies.
Michiel van Hulten is currently Director of Transparency International EU. He is a former Dutch Labour Party MEP and party chairman. Throughout his career, Michiel has specialised in issues around democracy, transparency, accountability and citizenship.
Pepijn Gerrits is currently Executive Director of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee. Until the end of 2015 he was Head of Programmes at the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). Throughout his career, Pepijn has specialised in issues around democracy, rule of law, human rights and organisational development.
Defend Democracy is a nonprofit foundation registered under Dutch law in The Netherlands (KvK 77749901). EU Transparency Register: 656334937846-80