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A Call to Defend Democracy: 10 Priorities for the EU

The European Partnership for Democracy along with 250 political and civic figures, Nobel laureates, and advocates for democracy have endorsed an open statement before the EU Elections, urging the incoming EU leaders to safeguard democracy by prioritising 10 key policies both domestically and internationally.

On 6-9 June, European citizens decided on key policy issues for the next five years. In an increasingly authoritarian world, these elections reaffirm Europe’s commitment to the importance of fundamental rights and democratic values that shape the future of our democracies.

As the European Partnership for Democracy, we endorse this statement and express concern about how democratic values are challenged both within the EU and outside its borders. In an era marked by global challenges, EU institutions must uphold democratic principles, foster peace, champion multilateralism, and promote universal human values. To achieve this, it is crucial to counter the erosion of democracy, ensure steadfast political support, and foster sustainable democracies, both within and outside the EU.

Following the European Parliament elections, leading Brussels-based democracy organisations European Endowment for Democracy (EED), the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), the European Network of Political Foundations (ENOP) and International IDEA, came together to launch a new policy brief with a series of 15 policy ideas to meaningfully operationalise the democracy commitments outlined in the call.

The policy brief proposes 10 ideas for improving European external democracy support and 5 ideas for the internal democracy agenda.

Among the ideas:

  • The creation of a Commission for Democracy Support or Special Representative, to provide for one clear reference point among the EU leadership with the competencies and institutional weight to raise the profile of this policy area.
  • At least 5 per cent spending of development assistance on democratic institutions, civil society, human rights and free media projects including combatting disinformation by the EU and member state donors.
  • An update of the definition and use of democratic conditionality in a way that clarifies the place of democratic standards in the EU’s foreign policy.
  • A strengthening of the link between accession and democracy support as part of the Enlargement Process in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Photo by European Endowment for Democracy