A visual shows an LGBTQI+ protest. In the middle of the image a white text underlined in dark blue reads "The Alliance Attacking Freedom". On the foreground, on the right hand corner a black and white picture of Trump pointing his finger. On the left hand of the foreground, a girl holds a sign that reads "Abortion is a human right".

The Alliance Attacking Freedom - New research exposes US far-right influence ahead of EU Elections

In less than a month, European citizens will vote in the EU Elections. In this context, the rise of the far-right across Europe has come hand-in-hand with increased stigmatisation, harassment, and violence against women and LGBTQIA+ people. During the last European Parliament legislature, this translated into measures such as the establishment of LGBTQI+ free zones in countries like Poland and severe deterioration of the right to abortion in some EU member states.

"The Alliance Attacking Freedom", new research from Corporate Europe Observatory researcher and campaigner Kenneth Haar, unveils the link between ultraconservative US foundations and right-wing forces across Europe. 

In the crosshairs outstands the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian right-wing organisation that, during the years, has worked tirelessly to establish a Transatlantic conservative network to roll back Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and LGBTQI+ rights. Its main method is to work through courts by providing support to claimants or defendants, but the ADF is much more than that. It lobbies parliaments and international institutions, it builds networks of its own, and it assists in creating far right coalitions in Europe.  

Highlights from the research include:

  • Money flows - During the last years, Christian US right-wing foundations have considerably increased grants to activities in Europe. The reported spending in Europe from the 12 most important foundations between 2019 and 2021 rose steeply to  $20,9 million, compared to the approximately $13,3 million registered between 2016 and 2018. The Alliance Defending Freedom, for its part, has doubled its spending in Europe since 2018. 
  •  Shared tactics - With five offices across the continent, the Alliance Defending Freedom has been active in Europe for many years. They scored many successes in the EU by bringing cases to European courtrooms to secure the long battle. By doing so, they have helped undermine abortion rights and defended those who harass LGBTQI+ people. 
  • Political Influence and Lobbying -  The Alliance Defending Freedom has actively contributed to establishing conservative organisations and networks across Central and Eastern Europe. ADF has also exerted influence on political parties and policymakers in countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and they have built a strong presence in the European Parliament through work with the conservative EPP group and the ultraconservative ECR.  

Kenneth Haar, researcher and campaigner with Corporate Europe Observatory, said: 

“The Alliance Defending Freedom's escalated spending in Europe mirrors a wider US right-wing project to influence European politics. They have been successful in many ways, so it is time to ask how we can fight back and diminish their impact. 

Over time, the ADF has forged close ties with far-right and conservative groups in Europe and the European Parliament. This collaboration reflects their strategic approach to advancing their agenda at the European level.  

They may not win all political battles they are involved in, but they play a long game, and it is becoming easier for groups such as the ADF to access millions of dollars from US conservative foundations. Looking at how much those foundations are currently increasing their spending is really worrying, including from a European perspective.   

The upcoming European Elections hold significant sway. Should the conservatives and the far right form a majority, there will be a bigger opening for ultra-conservative groups to influence European politics. That, in turn, would give the ADF and, with it, the Trump camp more fertile ground for their ideas. Safeguarding against such outcomes is imperative.”


For media inquiries, please contact

Kenneth Haar, Corporate Europe Observatory researcher and campaigner


0045 2360 0631

notes to editor

  • The Alliance Defending Freedom became infamous for its role in defeating federal abortion rights in the US and designated an "LGBTQI hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Centre in 2017.
  • In Poland, ADF supported the founding of Ordo Iuris, known for promoting anti-LGBT policies, leading to the creation of "LGBT-free zones." This collaboration has drawn Poland into conflict with the European Union.
  • ADF has supported and worked closely with influential conservative figures like Ján Figeľ, leveraging his position as the EU Special Envoy for Religious Freedom to advance their agenda. Their collaboration extends to legal cases and public campaigns.

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