Dear partners, colleagues and members of the Community,
During this year’s International Day of Democracy (15th September), I was impressed by the numerous initiatives taking place on the web, through social networks and other platforms of exchange, to help make this day a celebration of dialogue. I would particularly like to congratulate those who tried to connect these initiatives together and underline the importance of working hand-in-hand to support people striving for more freedom and democratic institutions.
Unfortunately, democratic transition and transformation cannot happen in a single day. We must bear in mind that those journeys are processes, which require the engagement and commitment of all stakeholders to be able to advance, step-by-step, towards a common goal.
The European Partnership for Democracy was specifically created to allow all actors – beneficiaries, experts and donors – to work together to find achievable and sustainable solutions to pressing needs.
EPD welcomes the recent initiative of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU to ask the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) for a detailed opinion on transition societies. We hope this will help foster the implementation of the Agenda for Action and create synergy among the different initiatives launched by the European Union through its external relations. I am particularly pleased that EPD was invited to share the contribution of its members (link) in the creation of this document.
Besides the horrible conflicts that are invading today’s press, we should not forget the countries that have taken the path of reform and democratic change, and we must continue sharing our experiences with them and providing political support. They might be less interesting from a media perspective but they are extremely important from a human angle.
This month, the EPD team will be busy with the following activities: setting up the 3rd steering committee meeting of INSPIRED, preparing the launch of PASC in Tunisia, organising our first big support event for our partner NIMD on Political Party Dialogue, attending the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Moldova, giving out our national project grants for Democracy Schools in Georgia, and welcoming the visit of our local Press Freedom Consortium partners from Egypt and Zimbabwe.