From Brexit to the upcoming European parliament elections, money from unknown sources is increasingly influencing Europe’s politics, boosting the rise of populism across the continent. Over the last two years, openDemocracy has followed the ‘dark money’ that flowed into the UK’s knife-edge EU referendum vote in 2016, and revealed how an international network of think tanks, financiers and politicians have subsequently sought to shape the Brexit negotiations. We have also investigated how similar networks of influence have sought to mobilise across Europe, from Ireland to Italy. Our work resulted in a series of ground-breaking stories that led to criminal investigations, parliamentary inquiries and record fines.

The panel will share key findings from the Dark Money investigation, with a particular focus on two case studies: our reporting on the Brexit referendum, and on the forthcoming European elections. We will share our experience of investigating transnational networks and flows of dark money into politics, how this issue is likely to develop in the future and how a network of small, independent media organisations like openDemocracy have come to be at the forefront of investigative work into these issues.

Organised in association with openDemocracy.