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The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) was created in 2008 by EU members states and non-for-profit organisations keen to solidify European support for democracy abroad. Yet much has changed since the late 2000s both in terms of the policy environment inside Europe and the changing nature of political systems around the world.

As a result, EPD and its members are conducting a participatory review of European democracy support over the course of 2018-2019. The review will focus on the policies of practitioner organisations, the European Union and European governments in order to draw lessons for the future. The key questions are:

How successful has European democracy support been until now?

How to consolidate and enhance European democracy support today?

What key features could a new democracy support policy be built upon?

2019: NOW IS THE TIME

2019 marks the 10th anniversary of EU Agenda for Action on Democracy Support. In the same year there will be European Parliament elections and a new EU budget (post-2020). At the same time, democracy is being challenged worldwide. In other words, now is the time for action.

RESEARCH GAP

There are numerous studies of the state of democracy and evaluations of individual programme, but very little in between.

ADVOCACY

A final paper will be published on the basis of the conclusions from the participatory review. This will offer important insights for the European democracy support community.

METHODOLOGY

Democracy support research

Research will consider the political context, policy framework, implementation mechanisms for democracy support and the institutional landscape.

Country research

Four country case studies shed light on the contribution of European democracy support to domestic processes.

Participation

EPD will hold 4 country workshops, 2 thematic workshops and over 20 multi-stakeholder consultations. These activities give practitioners, policy-makers, donors and academics the opportunity to share their views.

EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY SUPPORT

The EU Agenda for Action on Democracy Support in the EU’s External Relations was agreed on by EU MS on 17 November 2018. It marked the real beginning of what one might call a coordinated policy attempt at EU democracy support. Since that moment the EU has embarked on a series of policy initiatives and programmes designed to create a comprehensive and mainstreamed approach to democracy support. This includes two generations of the democracy pilot exercise, two EU Action Plans on Human Rights and Democracy, Communications on civil society, development and the new EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy.

Key EU documents

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

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