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The Board of Directors of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) met on January 11th 2013 in Brussels and took this opportunity to share information on the current status of the organisation’s finances, fundraising prospects, programmes and its upcoming statutory meetings. The Board also validated the new statutes of the organisation, which establish EPD as the first Community of Practice dedicated to democratic assistance.

At this occasion, the members of the Board elected Mr Hans Bruning as the new Chairperson of the Brussels-based organisation. Mr Bruning replaces Mr Roel von Meijenfeldt, EPD’s first Chairperson and one of the founding fathers of the organisation.   Hans Bruning is the Executive Director for the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) since December 2011. From March till November 2011 he was Executive Director ad interim. As of 1 January 2012 he also acts as the Board of NIMD.

Mr Bruning has an extensive track record in development cooperation, civil society and politics. He started his career as assistant to a Member of Parliament and has been active in several positions, among others as Director of Development Organisation ICCO and as Director for International Programmes of CNV, one of the Dutch labour unions.

Speaking to the Board members after his election, Hans Bruning underlined“the importance of the EPD network for the building of a community of practitioners for the sake of Democracy.” (…) “I am personally aware of the growing importance of the contribution these kind of networks can provide to countries undergoing democratic transition, as we can currently see in the MENA region. We must be ready to answer the requests of these countries for support in an innovative and collaborative way”.

The Board of Directors also validated the nomination of Mr Nicolas Rougy as the new Executive Director of EPD. Mr Rougy substitutes Carlos Hernandez Ferreiro, who has been nominated Executive Director of EUNIDA, and who has helped restructure the work of EPD and position it in Europe as a key actor in the field of democracy assistance.

Director of the Brussels Office of the Club de Madrid (www.clubmadrid.org) from January 2006 to January 2013, Mr Rougy was also member of the coordinating troika of the Human Rights and Democracy Network (www.hrdn.eu) between 2008 and 2011. Mr Rougy is a management specialist with expertise in institutional relations and European affairs. He has worked intensively, both in the private and non-for profit sectors, in contributions to EU policies and in developing strategic partnerships with the public sector for organisations. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish, and proficient in German.

“I am honoured to start collaborating with EPD at this strategic moment for so many democratic transition processes in the world. The unique model the organization is developing is the answer to current challenges people and countries face in their desire to advance towards democracy and more freedom. I am proud to lead this dynamic team and excited about the perspective of collaborating with our partners on key projects”, said Mr. Rougy. 

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