Adessium Foundation

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Group.png Adessium Foundation WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
FounderGerard van Vliet
Sponsor ofBellingcat, International Press Institute, Human Rights Watch, Transparency International, Digital Freedom Fund, Correctiv, European Policy Centre, Reporters without Borders, Civitates, European Journalism Centre, Digital Freedom Fund, Privacy International, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Media Development Investment Fund, Media Defence
A secretive Dutch foundation that donates to projects backed by Western governments.

The Adessium Foundation is a Dutch foundation and intelligence/government cutout that lavishly finances [1] projects favored by Western governments, like Bellingcat and Correctiv. In addition it sponsors 'press freedom organizations' 'objective' corruption/transparency measuring organizations etc, that are tools of the Western government narrative.

Official story

Adessium is an endowed foundation in the Netherlands, established in 2005 by commodities trader Gerard van Vliet and his family. Today, it spends approximately €18 million annually on programmes, including efforts to promote open and democratic societies.[2] Gerard van Vliet is leader of the Dutch Business Director Association (NCD)[3]

Projects 2019 (selection)

One finds several conspicuous projects and partners, like the intelligence cutouts Bellingcat and Correctiv, making it worthwhile to consider what exactly the other projects and partners are.[4]

  • Journalism Funders Forum

On 3-4 June, the European Journalism Centre organized a mini-conference in Paris that brought together 55 people working in philanthropy and media. Their aim: finding a way to streamline the cooperation between funders and reporters, and enabling funders to optimally allocate their means to meet existing needs within the journalism industry.

Earlier this year, Bellingcat headquarters moved to The Hague. The international investigative reporting collective has registered as a Dutch foundation and opened an office in the city. This important step takes the organization to the next level and opens up new opportunities to strengthen existing partnerships on the European continent, like that with the International Criminal Court. We have been supporting Bellingcat and their innovative methods for investigative reporting since 2017.

  • UvA Fiscal Transparency research.

It will involve academic research into and increase the transparency of international tax competition between European Member States.

  • Civitates

Several European Union Member States are experiencing what is referred to as a ‘shrinking of civic space’: governments implementing anti-democratic measures that make it difficult for citizens and social organizations to take part in the democratic process. For example, NGOs are facing hate campaigns and structural misinformation, curtailed freedom of the press, and a range of administrative measures that impede their work. Civitates supports pro-democratic civil social organizations that work to safeguard fundamental European values. These interventions aim to strengthen the civic space in which social organizations work, and to develop EU policy to counter the erosion of democratic principles.

  • CumEx Files: billions of euros in dividend tax fraud

A great commotion has arisen concerning a European scandal involving dividend tax. In a nutshell: European bankers, traders and hedge funds are alleged to have put fraudulent tax constructions in place. They are said to have claimed back dividend tax illegally. At a cost of 55.2 billion euros to European governments. A network of nineteen news organizations from twelve European countries has worked on this investigation, the CumEx Files, over the past year. The Netherlands was represented by Follow the Money. One of the German organizations involved was Correctiv. Adessium has been supporting this not-for-profit journalism organization since 2015. The organization played a key role in coordinating the investigation efforts for the CumEx Files, in building a database accessible for all the journalists involved and in installing software enabling surveillance-proof communication.

  • International Press Institute

OnTheLine Project Today, many journalists in Europe, in particular women and members of minority groups, as well as journalists who cover sensitive topics are targets of attacks, harassment, smear campaigns, and threats disseminated through digital means. For journalists confronted with online threats and abuse, the temptation to self-censor can be great, with severe implications for freedom of expression in our democratic societies.

The OnTheLine Project is aimed at addressing the issue of online harassment of journalists. IPI will develop a one-stop online resource platform. This will be directed at journalists, editors, and media managers. It consists of a comprehensive document on best practices. This will be accompanied by various multimedia resources offering practical advice for dealing with technical, institutional, psychological, and legal challenges associated with online threats, attacks, and harassment.

  • Hostfinder.

Hostwriter intends to use the prize money to improve the online platform further: by organizing even better worldwide representation, launching a mobile-first website and upgrading the communication tools that the platform offers, so that journalists can get in touch with one another even more easily. Hostwriter is delighted with this fantastic prize – and we’re delighted with them!

Adessium Foundation has been supporting Hostwriter since 2016 because we believe in the importance of a good infrastructure that enables research journalists to work together. Hostwriter is an open network that helps journalists to easily collaborate across borders. This not-for-profit, online network connects journalists from all over the world. Using Hostwriter means journalists can quickly and easily find colleagues to work together with, to get advice from or for arranging accommodation when traveling to other countries.

  • Reporters without Borders launched the Press Freedom Index 2018.

The Press Freedom Index has been published annually since 2002 and ranks 180 countries worldwide according to the extent to which journalists are given the freedom and security to do their work. This makes the Index a key tool in defending the interests of press freedom worldwide and working to achieve specific improvements to the situation in individual countries. Adessium Foundation has been supporting the Press Freedom Index since 2012.

  • Bellingcat

Through our continued involvement with Bellingcat, we hope to learn about improving the collaboration between reporters and other parties, like scientists and citizens.

Bellingcat proves that such collaborations can lead to unique and important stories about society.

  • Global Witness and Finance Uncovered

Adessium Foundation supports Global Witness & Finance Uncovered because of our belief in the importance of a society in which parties and institutions act responsibly, transparently and with integrity. As a well-developed campaign organization in the field of environmental protection and human rights, Global Witness works to put an end to corruption scandals. Journalism organization Finance Uncovered focuses on preventing and exposing illegal financing structures.

  • Human Rights Watch

Adessium Foundation supports the work of Human Rights Watch because we strive for a humane and sustainable asylum policy, both in the Netherlands and in the EU. We want to contribute to more social support for refugees.

  • Transparency International

Adessium Foundation supports Transparency International as part of our commitment to transparency, responsibility, and integrity. Ultimately, the organization’s work should ensure that the public interest always comes first in European policy.

  • European Policy Centre

The EPC is an independent think tank dedicated to fostering European integration through analysis and debate. The EPC aims to support and challenge European decision-makers to make decisions based on evidence and analysis. The EPC has a special position in the field of European integration due to its constant efforts to involve a broad range of interested parties in the European debate, including citizens, NGOs, foundations, policymakers, academics and businesses.

  • Digital Freedom Fund

Recently, Adessium Foundation joined forces with Open Society Foundations and Omidyar Network to support the foundation of the Digital Freedom Fund. Because the initiative is financed by several organizations, the Digital Freedom Fund benefits from increased sustainability. At the same time, it shows that philanthropy can play a vital role in the protection of digital rights.