The European Endowment for Democracy: will it fly?

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Series Details Number 128
Publication Date May 2012
ISSN 1989-2667
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For over a year, the European Union has been talking about setting up a new European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Initially, the EED was supposed to enable the EU to react quickly to the Arab revolts and to shifting events in the eastern neighbourhood. However, its establishment has been pushed back. Doubts remain over the level of support from member states and EU institutions.

If it is to fly, the EED must fill a clear niche and demonstrate its added value to the EU’s existing range of democracy support tools. It should do this by being fully independent, focusing on intervening at crucial tipping-points in democratic transitions, operating in a flexible and political manner and building broader coalitions in support of democracy. A half-hearted effort would only confirm suspicions that the EU and member states are lukewarm about democracy support.

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