After leaving the Trump administration, the former investment banker has been looking for new ways to promote his right-wing views, deciding that he will rival US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF), which is active in Europe.
Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist in the Trump administration, has announced that he will be establishing a foundation aimed at supporting right-wing groups across Europe. According to The Daily Best, Bannon wants to offer an alternative to George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, which he regards as a successful project, although he doesn’t share its agenda.
“Soros is brilliant. He’s evil, but he’s brilliant,” the former chief strategist said in an interview with The Daily Beast.
The foundation, which is to be called “The Movement,” will be tasked with polling, research consultation on messaging and data targeting for right-wing parties in Europe, which have seen a surge in support in wake of a major influx of migrants from the Middle East to the continent. Bannon has already held several meetings with former and current leaders of right-wing parties, including Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and Viktor Orban.
The former member of the Trump administration hopes that such right-wing parties will be able to win as many as 1/3 of seats in the European Parliament after the next elections are held in May 2019.
At the same time, despite setting Soros as an example, Bannon’s initiative is far from being as vast as the Open Society Foundation — only 10 full-time staff will be employed at the initial stage, but more will be hired after the elections, if the foundation proves itself to be effective, according to The Daily Beast.
George Soros’ Open Society Foundations has repeatedly been accused of acting on behalf of the billionaire to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations — especially their immigration policies. Recently, the Hungarian parliament passed a constitutional amendment, the so-called “Stop Soros Act,” aimed at blocking his foundation and other NGOs from meddling in the country’s migration policies and criminalizing assistance to illegal immigrants.