Trump-linked US 'fundamentalists' pour 'dark money' into Europe

March 28, 2019

NEWS FROM OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

EMBARGO: IMMEDIATE

TRUMP-LINKED US ‘FUNDAMENTALISTS’ POUR ‘DARK MONEY’ INTO EUROPE

US Christian right ‘fundamentalists’ linked to the Trump administration are among American groups that have poured at least $50 million of ‘dark money’ into Europe over the last decade, according to new research published today. openDemocracy said the groups have backed ‘armies’ of ultra-conservative lawyers and political activists, as well as ‘family values’ campaigns against LGBT rights, sex education and abortion. A cross-party group of more than 40 MEPs has now called on the EU to look into the influence of “US Christian fundamentalists… with the greatest urgency” ahead of May’s European elections.

Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “This research demonstrates the huge challenge that democracies face when millions of dollars are being spent in an attempt to normalise extreme views. “We live in a world where expert views are dismissed, and disinformation is being spread by those with money. “We need a fairer and more open society where data becomes knowledge that creates power for the many, not the few. “Ahead of this year’s European elections it is vital that social media platforms deliver on promises around transparency, and the European Union should examine its lobbying rules to become a champion for openness.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Read more here: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/revealed-trump-linked-us-christian-fundamentalists-pour-millions-of-dark-money-into-europe-boosting-the-far-right/

Open Knowledge Foundation was a signatory to an open letter to Facebook ahead of the European elections: https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/campaigns/eu-misinformation/

Contact: Alan Roden at alan.roden@okfn.org or +44 (0)7753 904 531

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