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The European democracy support network

Our story

The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) is a network with a global remit to support democracy. In 2008, several organisations came together to create EPD as a partnership to reinforce European democracy support by building a community that advocates and acts for democratic values around the world.  EPD works inside and outside Europe because we recognise that democracy is a universal aspiration and that the contemporary challenges and opportunities for democracy are global in scope.

Why is it so important to support democracy?

Democracy – widely defined and in all its varieties – holds both an intrinsic and instrumental value for society. Democracy gives citizens greater autonomy and liberty, while encouraging participation and transparency in decision-making. Democracy offers us the greatest potential for achieving sustainable development, respect for human rights and long-term stability. Yet, it is not a perfect political system and requires continuous support to flourish.

This challenge is very much at the core of EPD’s mandate. Our approach is rooted in the need to foster greater complementarity and dialogue between domestic, European and external stakeholders.

For information on how to join EPD, contact our executive director, Ken Godfrey, at [email protected].

Our vision

A world of democracies that truly reflects the interests and needs of people

Our mission

To support democracy in Europe and around the world through the collective knowledge and capacities of European democracy support organisations

Our strategy

Our strategy

EPD wants to contribute to setting a comprehensive and effective agenda for democracy support around the world.


The most important thing about EPD is in our name. We are a partnership bringing together 20 specialist organisations to support democracy.

What we do

Our toolkit for working on our multi-annual priorities is based on the three pillars at the core of the EPD approach: research, policy and programmes. We cover the key players within a democratic system and straddle the academic, policy and practitioner worlds.


We push the boundaries of democratic thinking and facilitate the exchange of experiences and lessons learned amongst practitioners from different sectors of the democracy support community. Our research investigates gaps in the democracy field and helps to inform our advocacy work.


We actively work with EU institutions, European governments, and civil society coalitions towards improving democracy support policies in the EU and beyond, and advising on foreign policies that can reinforce democracy in the face of global challenges. 


We bring together the expertise of specialists from various sectors of democracy support (parliaments, parties, elections, human rights, media, executive leadership, ICT, etc.) in joint programmes. We apply innovative in-house methods to contribute to democratic change.

Our sources of funding

Our strategy

To guarantee the independence of EPD’s advocacy in the EU, we are exclusively funded by private foundations and member fees and we do not receive corporate funding.

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Our branding

Our branding

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EPD in the media

EPD in the media

Discover a collection of all EPD citations in the media and other mentions.