Defend Democracy launches ‘Coalition for Democratic Resilience’, unveils new Board

9 May 2024 (Europe Day), Brussels and The Hague

Coalition for Democratic Resilience

Defend Democracy today launches the Coalition for Democratic Resilience, strengthening our response to the growing hybrid and technological threats to democracy. The new Coalition will start work on 29 May 2024 at an international conference under the auspices of Belgium’s EU Presidency, in partnership with the European External Action Service.

Alice Stollmeyer, our Founder and Executive Director, said:

“A new era calls for a new coalition. As authoritarian regimes use ‘sharp power’ to undermine our societies from within, weaponising digital technologies, sabotaging critical infrastructure and deploying political proxies to exploit conflict and poison debate, our democracies must work together to deter and defend. Next month’s European Parliament elections and providing sufficient support for Ukraine will test our resilience.”

The Coalition for Democratic Resilience will bring together EU and NATO governments and civil society, including both current and future EU and NATO members.

New Board

Defend Democracy is strengthening its own governance, so that we too can rise to the challenge. We have introduced a three-tier structure – Management, Board, and Advisory Board – which delivers moral purpose, strategic focus, and operational efficiency.

Ambassador (ret.) Jana Zikmundova, Chair of the new Board, said:

“Our mission could not be more urgent. Defend Democracy works with all parts of our democratic society so that together we build resilience. Every citizen, every social movement, every public institution has the power to make a difference – provided we work together.”

Dr. Paul Tang said:

“The time to invest in democracy is now. Russia’s criminal assault on Ukraine and its hybrid attacks on our own societies only underline that the strength of our security and the health of our democracy are two sides of the same coin. Defending democracy is security policy.”

Elizabeth Kuiper said:

“The EU and NATO need to see that strengthening security, defending democracy, and building societal resilience go hand-in-hand. Member states must empower citizens – through education, public information, and robust regulation of new technologies – so that as a society, we can understand and respond to the threats of our time.”

New Advisory Board

Defend Democracy has assembled a new Advisory Board that will help to shape our long-term vision, deepen our technical expertise, and expand our international network:

  • Hon. Chris Alexander, former Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Dr. Benedetta Berti, Head of Policy Planning in the Office of NATO Secretary-General
  • Ambassador (ret.) Kees Klompenhouwer, former Ambassador of The Netherlands in Czechia, Ukraine, and Serbia; and former EU Civilian Operations Commander
  • Molly McKew, a writer and lecturer on Russian influence and information warfare
  • Liubov Tsybulska, a leading Ukrainian expert on hybrid warfare and advisor to the government of Ukraine

Goodwill Ambassador

Defend Democracy looks forward to working with Sander Schimmelpenninck, a Dutch journalist, writer, documentary filmmaker, and entrepreneur. Sander will help us communicate and advocate our ideas, in particular on digitalisation and democracy.

New logo

Marking the transition to a new phase, Defend Democracy has a new logo: