June marks the 10th anniversary of the Max van der Stoel Foundation! On 21 June 2013, the Alfred Mozerstichting and the Evert Vermeerstichting merged into a new foundation, named after the prominent PvdA politician and human rights defender Max van der Stoel. Ten years after our founding, we are still committed to the same ideal: make people stronger and politically fairer. This is still desperately needed.
Freedom, equality, sustainability and solidarity. These are the basic principles of social democracy, and the ideals to which the Max van der Stoel Foundation (FMS) has been committed for 10 years, and its predecessors the Evert Vermeer Foundation and Alfred Mozer Foundation in the decades before.
The Evert Vermeer and Alfred Mozer Foundation
The Evert Vermeer Foundation (EVS) has been campaigning for fairer Dutch and EU policies towards developing countries since 1967. Improving the situation of people elsewhere in the Netherlands and Brussels, that was the idea. To stimulate debate on this, the EVS also organised various public events, such as the Africa Day.
The Alfred Mozer Foundation (AMS) was founded by the Labour Party in February 1990, just after the fall of the wall in 1989, as a kind of "emergency aid institute" for social democratic sister parties in Central and Eastern Europe. There was a great need there for help in forming democratic parties and steering democratisation in the right direction. The AMS soon grew into a professional training institute with 50 projects a year in 20 countries.
Max van der Stoel
The FMS was formed on 21 June 2013 from a merger between these two other ancillary foundations of the Labour Party. The merger of the two foundations created a strong new organisation that would continue to fight for the same ideals with new energy. The new organisation was named after former Labour Party politician and diplomat Max van der Stoel, who is known for his commitment to human rights and support for dissidents and minorities. Van der Stoel, more than anyone else, embodies the ideals the foundation is committed to: supporting people fighting for democracy and justice. Make people stronger, and politics fairer.
"More relevant than ever"
Ten years after our founding, our work and the ideas of Max van der Stoel are more relevant than ever. In more and more places around the world, democracy and freedom are under pressure, and people need our solidarity. On Europe's borders, in Ukraine, people have been fighting dictatorship and aggression for more than a year now. In Tunisia, fragile democracy is currently on the verge of collapse at the hands of the powerful President Saied.
Especially in these difficult circumstances, it is important to maintain solidarity with your friends. In Ukraine, Tunisia and other places around the world, we continue to support a new generation of social democrats. With our political training we offer tools to young politicians who no longer put up with it, want to become politically active themselves to enforce democracy.
Even in the Global South, people should be free from oppression and exploitation. But that cannot happen as long as the Netherlands undermines the development of poor countries. With our campaigns - such as Building Change - and events - such as the annual Africa Day with 1,000 visitors - we are sending a strong message to The Hague, in favour of an honest Dutch policy towards developing countries, against exploitation.
The Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) is an independent foreign foundation affiliated to the PvdA. We work for democratisation in the EU's neighbouring countries, fairer Dutch and EU policies towards developing countries, and we stimulate public debate on these issues in the Netherlands. We depend on donations for our work. Would you like to support the FMS? Then go to foundationmaxvanderstoel.co.uk/doneer/