We strive for a vigorous democracy, future-proof journalism and resilient rule of law.
We live in a time of major changes, challenges and crises, which we as a society are struggling to get a grip on. It is a time that calls for vision and decisiveness. But it also requires clarity, diligence and critical thinking so that in our search for solutions, we do not overlook the vital importance of democracy and rule of law, because these are the foundations of a just society.
To be able to face the problems of our time requires a vibrant democracy in which engaged citizens shape society together, and where all voices are heard and considered. This also requires journalistic media that understand their role in society and guide us in having the right conversations.
In line with our mission, in the coming years (2023-2025) we will focus on the following key areas: vigorous democracy, future-proof journalism and a resilient rule of law.
In a well-functioning democracy, people must feel adequately represented and trust that the institutions are working for them in a just way. However, a number of contemporary trends point to a democratic deficit. The interests of vulnerable citizens, in particular, are not sufficiently reflected in current decision-making. A majority in the Netherlands is pessimistic about the future of the country, and trust in politics has been at a low level for some time. Structural inequality puts further pressure on society. A section of the Dutch population is in danger of disengaging or has already disengaged, which poses a real threat to democracy.
In a vibrant democracy, citizens have adequate participation, involvement and ownership in addition to rights, duties and freedoms. That is why, in the coming years, we will invest in initiatives that strengthen and, where necessary, revitalise our democracy. One way we do this is by developing a fund for citizens who make a concerted effort for societal change.
Strong, independent and diverse journalistic media are indispensable for the democratic rule of law, which cannot function properly without well-informed citizens and a free exchange of ideas. Digitalisation, polarisation and political fragmentation have completely changed the media playing field. Journalists increasingly struggle to gain and maintain public trust. The industry will have to look at how it can continue to play its role to the best of its ability and how it shapes accountability and transparency to the public.
Well-functioning, democratic rule of law requires self-critical journalism that is aware of its role. This is why we invest in strong, independent and diverse journalism and explicitly create space for structural self-reflection within the Dutch journalistic media. We also remain active in DPG Media and De Correspondent as a constructively critical shareholder. De Correspondent.
Resilient rule of law
The strongest weapon against totalitarianism is a vital, liberal, democratic rule of law. Citizens’ rights and freedoms must be protected - but equally crucial is that the significance of that protection is felt and supported by society. It is never a given. For instance, a significant proportion of Dutch citizens believe anti-democratic forms of governance are acceptable to address urgent and complex problems. Governments, too, tend to bypass democracy and law in times of crisis. And the new technologies used to settle these crises, such as data technology and algorithms, are putting further pressure on the rule of law.
The democratic rule of law needs to be protected and activated, and this is what we are permanently dedicated to. Strong support is essential in this regard. That is why we consider it especially important now to also invest in initiatives that promote societal values under the democratic rule of law.