In a year dominated by the imperative of defending democracy, EU democracy support policies had to adapt to a new geopolitical context. The second edition of our flagship publication, the European Democracy Support Annual Review 2022 (Annual Review), showcases how countries responded to protecting and supporting democracy in this new context.
The defense of democratic values was at the forefront in 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine encouraged global commitments to make democracy a priority, both internally and in external action. The invasion was often pictured by the West as a threat not only to Ukraine, but also to global democracy. However, the wave of commitments to uphold democratic values did not lead to concrete policy responses. Despite the global rhetoric on the importance of defending democracy, the Annual Review 2022 finds that European democracy policy was only a secondary priority, with other issues gaining priority such as the energy crisis and security policy.
The 2022 Annual Review provides an overview of the ways in which the new global context changed European democracy support policies and how these policies evolved both at the EU and national levels. After that, it delves into how Europe responded to the war in Ukraine from a democracy policy perspective. Finally, it focuses on the specific aspects of democracy support implemented, such as democracy funding, the use of sanctions and conditionality, and democracy considerations in conflict interventions. The report also offers a series of things to look out for in 2023, starting from commitments to democracy being tested through harder trade-offs moving forward, to seeing how the Summit for Democracy moves forward democratic coordination, maintaining cooperation in terms of foreign policy on Ukraine as the war continues, testing the transformative powers of the EU accession instrument and finally, dealing with the economic challenges that 2023 is bound to bring.
The European Democracy Support Annual Review 2022 is published by the European Democracy Hub, a joint initiative of Carnegie Europe and EPD. The Hub acts as a focal point for the work of democracy, and brings together experts on democratic politics and democracy support. This publication was developed thanks to co-financing from the European Union.