EU influencer Alice Stollmeyer launches ‘Defend Democracy’ foundation

As a digital activist she learned to expose Russian disinformation.
Now she launches a new project to defend democracy.

As a leading EU influencer who works 24/7 at the frontline of geopolitics and digital advocacy, in 2014 Alice Stollmeyer witnessed first-hand the spread of trolls and bots. She didn’t need research to find them: they found her. By summer 2016, Alice was increasingly worried by our slide towards a post-truth society, the erosion of rule of law and decline of multilateralism, and hostile foreign interference in national elections. Fast-forward to 30 March 2020: Alice today widens her scope and ambition – to help defend democracy – by launching a new foundation.

“We must defend democracy even as the corona pandemic disrupts our societies. This is a time for vigilance: so that we defend liberal democracy against internal, external and technological threats. I am proud that we are doing just that – and now with the full backing of a new legal entity,” says Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director of Defend Democracy.

Defend Democracy: Why?

Democracy is being undermined from all sides – not least from within our own societies – and the corona crisis is only adding to those forces. 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 becomes a fully-fledged legal entity: Defend Democracy today registered as a non-profit foundation in The Hague, the Dutch capital that symbolises peace, justice and security. Most of our day-to-day work will remain in Brussels and (virtually) in Washington DC. We are independent, nonpartisan and transatlantic. Our mission is to defend and strengthen liberal democracy against foreign, domestic and technological threats.

Defend Democracy: How?

Defend Democracy works at the intersection of freedom, security and technology. To achieve our mission, we work on the frontline: building awareness, shaping advocacy and taking action. Our signature project is already on the map: our networking events for democracy defenders – the #DemocracyDrinks – now take place in Brussels, Berlin and Washington DC, and we plan to bring them to The Hague and Copenhagen later this year.

Picture credits: VCR