The liberal financier will shift his attention to “other parts of the world,” according to an internal email.
George Soros’ Open Society Foundations NGO will shut down much of its EU-based operations and fund liberal causes elsewhere, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an internal email. While it remains unclear where Soros will direct his efforts, the aging billionaire has agitated for regime change in China in recent years.
“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,” the email to employees reportedly stated.
An Open Society Foundations spokesperson told Reuters that the NGO would continue to hand out some grants in Europe, including in Ukraine, Moldova, and the western Balkans. These grants will be doled out to national-level foundations, at a scale “to be determined over the coming months,” the spokesperson said.
Soros is best known in the EU for funding pro-immigration and pro-LGBTQ organizations, activities that have seen him demonized in his native Hungary. His NGO relocated its Budapest headquarters to Berlin in 2018, as the Hungarian government passed its ‘Stop Soros’ law, criminalizing foreign organizations aiding illegal immigrants.
In recent years, Soros has become increasingly vocal in his criticisms of China’s Communist government, with the elderly billionaire issuing a call for regime change in Beijing last year. Ousting Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said, “would remove the greatest threat that open societies face today and they should do everything within their power to encourage China to move in the desired direction.”
Prior to setting up the Open Society Foundations, Soros funded pro-Western demonstrators in 1980s China. Beijing claimed Soros’ Chinese operations were a front for the CIA, and shut them down after fatal clashes between rioters and government troops in Tiananmen Square in 1989.r
Whether or not the NGO turns its attention to East Asia once more will depend on how Soros’ son manages his father’s empire. The Open Society Foundations announced in June that 37-year-old Alex Soros would take over control of the organization from his 93-year-old father, and while George Soros has made headlines condemning the Chinese Community Party, Alex has zeroed in on the Republican Party in the US.
Alex Soros told the Wall Street Journal that he intends to keep funneling money to Democratic politicians, prosecutors, and activist groups in a bid to keep former President Donald Trump from winning next year’s election. “As much as I would love to get money out of politics, as long as the other side is doing it, we will have to do it too,” he told the newspaper.