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EPD invests significant time and resources into carrying out research and analysis, publishing papers, reports and articles. Given the relative shortage of democracy policy research, there is a need to fill the gap by engaging in systematic analysis that falls between a broad analysis of democracy and evaluations of specific democracy projects. Improving this evidence base is vital for improvements in the impact of actual policies. In our work, we investigate some of the most pressing challenges to democracies worldwide, such as democracy in the digital age and shrinking democratic space.

Democracy Innovation

Exploring Worldwide Democratic Innovations seeks to identify and analyse worldwide forms of participation that are different from innovations in the West and that may help inspire ideas for reform for European states.

The page below collects a series of 10 country case studies carried out in partnership with Carnegie Europe.

This project is carried out in the framework of the European Democracy Hub

Research papers


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.

This research fills a gap as the first comprehensive review of efforts to support democratic norms internationally. It is the first of a yearly series of overviews of European democracy support, which will synthesise and analyse the developments taking place within the EU and its Member States towards strengthening democracy globally.

This research draws on the findings from four country case studies of EU and member state support for women’s political participation and leadership under the second Gender Action Plan (GAP II) in four countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Sri Lanka, and Zambia, written by country experts and published by the European Democracy Hub.

This paper looks at the topic of policy dialogue and is based on the experience of the EPD Programmes Team in supporting policy dialogue processes in 20 countries over the last decade. It draws on lessons from working closely with national authorities and the EU as well as from strengthening the capacities of over 100 CSOs in the use of policy analysis, monitoring tools and dialogue techniques.

This paper looks at the emergent trend of the rise of dominant party regimes that engage in creeping autocratization and their impact on democracy democracy support. It draws on and synthesises the findings of four case studies of different types of dominant-party regimes in Georgia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Zimbabwe.

This paper looks at 6 areas where the EU can tackle digitalisation while strengthening development and democracy at the same time, by adopting a consistent approach towards programming that targets digitalisation, development and democracy – the 3D Nexus.

This paper illustrates how democratic space was affected by the COVID-19 crisis, drawing on case studies from Burundi, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda and Venezuela, as well as the wider research community.

This paper provides an analysis of where we think European party support stands, where it has been successful, and where to invest in the future. It draws on the lessons learned in the REACH for Democracy project and our network’s political party support community.

This paper sketches out the medium-term consequences of the pandemic for democratic governance around the world based on a comprehensive overview of current trends and evidence, providing possible scenarios for the future of democracy.

The paper aims to broaden the understanding of the different tactics that countries and governments use to close democratic space, in the hope to contribute to a strategic framework for countering and preventing attacks on it.

European support for democracy is at a crossroads. It is with these choices in mind that we embarked, 18 months ago, on a participatory review of European support for democracy. This has included several stand-alone papers on democracy support and one report.

This paper examines the extent to which Facebook, Google and Twitter fulfilled their commitments outlined in the Code of Practice on Online Disinformation regarding enhanced transparency of digital political advertising in the context of the 2019 European Parliament elections.

This factsheet series brings together insights from the field to provide an overview of different themes important for democratic governance, and to understand the options available to policy-makers, donors and development practitioners engaging in support.

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