George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, now under the control of his son Alexander, will significantly curtail its operations within the European Union.
This decision comes in the wake of foundation-supported non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aiding migrants’ journey to Europe for more than ten years. This move follows the family foundation’s announcement of a workforce reduction of at least 40% following Alexander’s leadership.
Referring to a “radical shift in strategic direction,” OSF has indicated that their new operational model will necessitate “significant further restructuring” and “the closure of all regional and global programs.” This information was conveyed in a letter to grant recipients in Hungary, as reported by Bloomberg.
The communication states, “Ultimately, the new approved strategic direction provides for withdrawal and termination of large parts of our current work within the European Union, shifting our focus and allocation of resources to other parts of the world.” A similar note was shared with OSF’s Berlin headquarters staff.
The message also specifies, “OSF will largely terminate funding within the European Union, and further funding will be extremely limited.” While not providing explicit details, the organization explains that the pivot is occurring because “EU institutions and governments were already allocating significant resources to human rights, freedom, and pluralism” within the EU.
Bloomberg, in its coverage, lauds OSF’s achievements:
Within the EU, OSF supported a diverse array of philanthropic initiatives in former communist nations of the bloc’s eastern region, including Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and other countries.
These initiatives aimed to bolster democracy, advance human rights, and address the challenges faced by the Roma minority in terms of poverty and discrimination.
The foundation also sponsored projects in non-EU European nations like those in the Balkans, as well as in central Asia.
OSF originally established its European headquarters in Budapest, relocating to Berlin in 2018 due to a protracted campaign against Soros and the OSF’s liberal principles by Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The organization also maintains offices in Barcelona, Brussels, and Belgium.
Over the course of thirty years, OSF has directed more than $19 billion toward diverse projects, with $209 million allocated in 2021 for initiatives in Europe and central Asia.