The Russia of Vladimir Putin has launched a hybrid war against the West – a war against democracy, the rule of law, our values and our way of life. While our governments have slowly grasped the scale and urgency of the threat, they have yet to form a clear and united response.
The enemy wants to disrupt our society, discredit our institutions and undermine our confidence so that we turn against ourselves. The return of illiberal, nationalist and xenophobic politics – often funded by Moscow – suggests that we may be losing the battle. The ability of pro-Kremlin hackers, disinformation campaigns and unaccountable algorithms to corrupt our social media and search engines poisons the lifeblood of our democracy.
The war on the West – both from the outside and from the inside – is a war on truth. Everything we hold dear is at risk: our trust in the rule of law; our trust in public institutions and fair elections; our trust in knowledge and science; our trust in journalism and media; and perhaps most of all, our trust in a shared sense of decency and social cohesion. Our democracy is at stake, and we must defend it.
Defending Democracy is an independent, nonpartisan initiative. We work for:
- clear red lines to monitor, evaluate and enforce constitutional liberal democracy (main focus on the EU)
- a stronger, Transatlantic response to the Kremlin’s hybrid war on our democracies
Regarding internal threats, Defending Democracy focuses on defending key fundamental rights:
- rule of law
- human rights
Regarding external threats, Defending Democracy focuses on deterring key hybrid threats:
- political warfare
To help achieve our mission, Defending Democracy works on:
- communication (advocating)
- cooperation (building bridges)
- community (connecting)
Defending Democracy does not have the answers – but we do ask the questions.
Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director