Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

How Could a European Endowment for Democracy Add Value?

The European Union has asked for proposals from the Commission and High Representative to establish a European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Various options are being discussed in Brussels; from potential recipients, to geographic scope, to thematic focus. The debate surrounding the EED provides an opportunity for EU support to civil society to become more extensive and flexible than allowed under current funding rules.

The possible creation of a Convention or new agency, and/or the reform of the financial regulation affecting current funding instruments (in particular the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights), deserve support if they offer less burdensome mechanisms for non-governmental actors to access and manage EU funds.

This discussion paper explores the potential added value of the EED in relation to the actors and scope of activities currently supported by the EU, and how it would add value to existing modalities of support to civil society. The most valuable outcome of this debate, regardless of whether an EED is established, would be if EU support became more responsive to the needs of the actors working in support of human rights and democracy.

The full paper is available for download.

Date: September 2011

Source: Open Society Foundations

Project funded by the European UnionEU