Mary Fitzgerald is the editor-in-chief of openDemocracy. Prior to that post, she worked for Avaaz, the global campaigning organization; she has also been a senior editor for Prospect (UK) magazine. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Observer, and the New Statesman, among others. (July 2019)

Follow Mary Fitzgerald on Twitter: @maryftz.

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The American Dark Money Behind Europe’s Far Right

Leader of Italy’s Lega party Matteo Salvini kissing a rosary at a rally before the European elections, Milan, Italy, May 18, 2019

Along with Marine le Pen in France, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Italy’s Matteo Salvini is leading a startling resurgence of Europe’s far right. Across the continent, the messaging of these right-wing populists is increasingly slick, their party machines are disciplined, and their policies have been carefully crafted to appeal to a wider range of voters. Part of the explanation for this surge, however, became clearer for us when we started tracking the international financial flows linked to many of America’s most powerful Christian conservative groups. Several of the American activists who twenty years ago signed the Manhattan Declaration, the religious right’s manifesto dedicated to promoting “life, family, and freedom,” have since made numerous trips across the Atlantic, along with a great deal of cash to support their efforts.