Democracy in Development: Global consultations on the EU’s role in democracy building

This publication is only available in electronic format
21 October 2009
978-91-85724-67-3 (Print)
Andrew Bradley, Amor Boubakri, José Thompson

This report presents the first ever peer review of the European Union’s external policies and practices on support for democracy and democracy building around the world.

With the support of Sweden holding the incoming EU presidency, International IDEA engaged counterparts and partners of the EU in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Arab world, South Asia and Southeast Asia in a series of multi-regional consultations to get their feedback on the impact of these policies on democracy and democracy building in their respective regions.

The EU seeks to be a major player in the area of democracy building throughout the world. How can the EU improve its policies, its approach and its engagement with partners in this area? International IDEA asked these questions across five regional round-table conferences, and three global meetings encompassing all regions including EU institutions. The results revealed gaps between the EU’s objectives and the perceptions of its partners.

To address the gaps, this report proposes four key areas in which the EU’s policies and actions should be strengthened. The EU should:

  1. tap its internal experiences to inform external action, meaning that the EU should formulate and make the democracy building experiences of its member states and of its regional integration globally available;
  2. apply a broad understanding of democracy by seeing it as more than a procedure and as something that needs to deliver the basic needs of the citizens in order to gain legitimacy;
  3. stand by its long-term commitments; and
  4. move towards genuine partnerships involving dialogue which deliver broader benefits for its partners.

In addition, a series of Discussion Papers was commissioned and individual interviews conducted to support the consultations. 

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