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10 recommendations for a European response to the Ukraine invasion

We are at a critical juncture for the future of the European Union and democracy globally. The Russian war of aggression shows that authoritarian rule is a global security problem for states, businesses and people everywhere. Democracy support needs to be a European strategic priority.

Our members have been tirelessly working to support staff or partners in Ukraine and do what they can to support critical democratic actors – like media, civil society, human rights defenders and local government – both in Ukraine and in Belarus and Russia. On this page, you can see all the activities of our members on Ukraine. As EPD, we are coordinating among members and with various networks, and have also just released this letter urging the Commission not to compromise on the rule of law and democracy at home, with regards to the recovery funds to Poland and Hungary.

With all of this in mind, our members have come together to call on EU institutions and European governments to respond to the crisis with a democracy-focused approach in the short term while developing a far more strategic approach to supporting democracy globally in the long term. To this end, we have two sets of actionable recommendations:

Respond to the crisis with a democracy-focused approach

  • Bolster Ukraine’s democratic institutions
  • Invest in Ukrainian civil society
  • Support independent media organisations and journalists in Ukraine
  • Support drivers of change in Russia and Belarus
  • Give a meaningful EU membership perspective to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova without taking shortcuts on democracy

Ensure democracy is a cornerstone of geopolitical strategy

  • Make democracy a top strategic priority in foreign policy
  • Strengthen democracy at home
  • Support the work and the integrity of independent journalists and media organisations to counter disinformation
  • Combat corruption and kleptocracy
  • Use Team Europe Democracy to improve coordination