What We Do

The Max van der Stoel Foundation (FMS) is committed to democratisation in the EU's neighbouring countries, a fairer Dutch and EU policy towards developing countries, and stimulates public debate on these issues in the Netherlands.


The FMS aims to promote democracy at home and worldwide. We champion emerging democracies and (social) democrats in countries where freedom is under pressure. We support the building of democratic political parties, through trainings, at the request of our foreign partners and maintain an extensive network of international political foundations and partner organisations. We also organise public events on democracy.

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Our ideal: a world where everyone has equal opportunities for development

The FMS advocates for a fairer Dutch and EU policy towards developing countries. It is still too often the case that what we give with development cooperation with one hand is taken away with the other by unfair policies. Dutch tax policy still allows multinationals to pay virtually no taxes in developing countries, while tax revenues are crucial for sustainable development. And while we invest in climate-friendly agriculture in developing countries, our own ecological footprint remains three times larger than the earth can handle. We want to put an end to such inconsistencies, by advocating for fair Netherlands and EU policies in various ways. 

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Through our public events, we aim to fuel public debate on international issues. For instance, the FMS regularly organises political cafes on pressing international developments. And every year the FMS hosts Africa Day - the event on Africa and international cooperation. 

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Get involved

You can become active for the Max van der Stoel Foundation by getting involved, writing for us or donating. Click here for more information.