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On 20 July 2015, the Foreign Ministers of the member states of the European Union adopted the new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, which will cover the period 2015-2019. The Council conclusions adopted at the Foreign Affairs Council can be found here.

EPD particularly welcomes the adoption of the first objective of the Action Plan, which aims to boost the ownership of local actors. Under this objective, the EU has committed to providing comprehensive support to public institutions and promoting stronger partnerships with third countries’ CSOs as well as between authorities, parliaments and CSOs. EPD calls on the EU to stand by this objective and to ensure it supports democratic forces outside its borders.

Earlier this year, EPD together with the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP), the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) provided joint feedback on the draft document. EPD notes that these comments were taken into account in the consultation process but still laments the fact that no separate heading was devoted to democracy.

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