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

March 28, 2019




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.”



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Open Knowledge Foundation was a signatory to an open letter to Facebook ahead of the European elections:

Contact: Alan Roden at or +44 (0)7753 904 531


The Open Knowledge Foundation helps governments, universities, and civil society organisations reach their full potential by providing them with skills and tools to publish, use, and understand data. We are the experts in opening up knowledge: we created the Open Definition in 2005, the gold standard for open data, and have over ten years of experience in addressing technological, legal and social challenges around open data. We believe in a world where knowledge creates power for the many, not the few.

We deliver technology solutions, enhance data literacy, provide cutting-edge research and mobilise communities to provide value for a wide range of international clients. Our track record includes the development of pioneering databases for fiscal and medical transparency, world leading open data benchmarks such as the Global Open Data Index, and data training programs with key non-profit organisations such as Global Witness. We work with a range of international NGOs, such as Transparency International, as well as governments around the world, including the United Kingdom, United States, Panama, and Sweden.

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The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. It is incorporated in England & Wales as a company limited by guarantee, with company number 05133759. Registered office address: 86 - 90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE, UK.

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