More than a year after the EU reinforced its institutional presence in Bosnia, progress on the EU reform agenda has been limited and disappointing.
In recent years, the EU has significantly improved its support schemes to non-state actors in the Eastern neighbourhood. However, the Union still faces a number of challenges in its democracy promotion policies through civil society.
Delays in setting up the European Endowment for Democracy cast further question-marks over Europe’s scale of ambition in democracy support.
The EU has made modest changes to its democracy support, but still requires more fundamental reform to its policies.
The future of Venezuelan democracy will be determined by the armed forces more than by chavistas or the opposition. The international community must change its approach accordingly.
After the Tymoshenko trial, Ukraine’s 2012 ‘Year of Europe’ is set to be a ‘Year of Conflict’ with the EU.
The Inter-American Democratic Charter is ten years old. It is a unique document, due to its democratic commitment, but many of its goals remain unfulfilled. So far, it has been unable to respond to new threats to democracy such as selective authoritarianism or political polarisation.
After more than two years of implementation, the Eastern Partnership has proved an effective tool for political dialogue and sector-based cooperation. Now that the EaP institutions are fully in operation it is pertinent to ask what has been achieved.
While voicing its EU aspirations, Armenia has not been as outspoken as other EU Eastern neighbours, largely due to its security dependence on Russia. Nevertheless, Armenia’s interest in the EU has grown since the launch of the Eastern Partnership.
The developments in North Africa and the Middle East have triggered many changes in EU policies. There is a need better to distinguish between pre-transition, transition and post-transition challenges. The recently-proposed European Endowment for Democracy intends to enhance the effectiveness of democracy support.
Moldova is promoted as the EU’s badly needed success story in its Eastern neighbourhood. The country has chosen a pro-European orientation and stands to make progress in economic and democratic reform, but it remains to be seen whether such success will hold.
During its EU presidency, Poland aims to reinforce the EU’s engagement with its Eastern neighbourhood. Yet many in Ukraine and Georgia believe that Warsaw’s ‘reset’ with Russia has been undertaken at the expense of Poland’s relations with their countries.
To what extent do the rising democracies of India, Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa support democratic reform in other countries? This paper examines what potential exists for the US and EU to work with these states on international democracy support – and some of the risks that must be avoided.
Like in the Arab world, new forms of communication are also changing civil society in sun-Saharan Africa. Donors need to support these new organisations, many of which can become key drivers of democratic consolidation.
EU-Russia consultations to advance human rights and political reform in Russia have been ineffective and have coincided with a period of worsening political conditions in Russia. The EU should review its efforts and adopt higher level political pressure and engagement.
Relations between the EU and Belarus have returned to square one. A number of myths need to be debunked before the EU can define a better balance of policy instruments in the country.
The EU has failed to use either the European Neighbourhood Policy or the Eastern Partnership to leverage reform in Armenia. Armenia saw its inclusion in the Eastern Partnership as a path to gaining EU membership and a way of resolving ongoing problems with its neighbours. However the EU is neither actively involved in conflict resolution nor strongly committed to closer political integration with its Eastern partners.
Democracy promotion has lost traction around the world. Critics point to inflexible policies, with narrow conceptions of political reform and call for a fundamental rethink of what type of ‘democracy’ should be supported in different regions. But current criticisms risk pushing policy deliberations in exactly the opposite direction to their required improvement.
The EU is a major donor and trading partner of Sri Lanka, but European pressure to promote human rights in the country has not worked. The EU must change its approach in South Asia in order to respond to changing regional power dynamics.
Belarus’ presidential elections, on 19 December, come at a difficult moment for the country. Belarusians are ready for change, but Lukashenka is expected to remain in power. With no serious challenger, the biggest threat to his success is the turnout.
The EU's Common Position on Cuba remains unchanged. Current practice represents a compromise between the Spanish Government’s proposal to abandon a common approach and defence of the status quo by Germany and other European countries. Catherine Ashton has been mandated to present, before the end of the year, a strategy on future relations.
The legislative elections of 26th September 2010 mark the start of a new chapter in Venezuela: Will authoritarianism and polarisation continue? Or will Chavism undergo a definitive decline?
Russia is raising its voice as an avid democracy promoter. Is it a genuine call for freedom or just a masquerade to preserve its power in the region?
The European Union has made firm commitments to democratic reforms and human rights initiatives around the world. This book examines the efficacy of these efforts, particularly in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Ukraine, Central Asia, Morocco, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, and Nigeria.
Democratic conditionality has been superseded by more immediate, short-term security measures. Western governments concerned with advancing democracy internationally need to move towards broader means of exerting political pressure to unblock potential reforms.
Democracy assistance needs to be re-energised. The author, Richard Youngs, lays out the main concerns of civil society organisations in states on the receiving end of democracy support
In his first 100 days in office, Victor Yanukovych has set up an effective government and begun to act on his electoral promises. However, rent-seeking practices prevail, while political freedoms are restricted in the name of political stability.
In May 2009, the EU launched the Eastern Partnership, a new policy to bring its Eastern neighbours closer. One year on, the initiative still has not produced the expected results.
Albania’s latest general elections on June 2009 were presented as a watershed moment for its European bid, but the politicisation of the vote count and subsequent events demonstrate the urgent need to strengthen democracy in the country.
Are established authoritarian regimes seeking converts to their form of rule beyond their own borders? We need to examine the claims more closely so as to answer this question in a way that helps the cause of international democracy promotion devise an effective response.
This report presents a summary of the main discussion points of the seminar ‘The Future of the Eastern Partnership: Challenges and Opportunities‘, co-organised by the Spanish EU Council Presidency, the Embassies of the Republic of Poland and of the Czech Republic in Madrid in cooperation with FRIDE on January 27–28, 2010.