While, in the past, democracy promotion tended to be the exclusive domain of high-income Western countries, the actors involved today are more varied, the kinds of activities more diverse, and the number of countries targeted for democracy assistance is steadily increasing.

This Discussion Paper examines the European Union’s democracy assistance to Central Asia and the South Caucasus, focusing on Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. These countries are among the most fragile and conflict-affected in the post-Soviet space, but they are distinct in that they have made varying degrees of progress towards democratic governance.


Publication date
28 February 2016
Nicklas Norling, Svante E. Cornell
Number of pages



1. Fragility and conflict in Central Asia and the South Caucasus 

2. Obstacles to democratization in the post-Soviet space          

3. The European Union’s democracy-assistance activities in Central Asia  

4. The European Union’s democracy-assistance activities in the South Caucasus    

5. Democracy-assistance and state-building instruments           

6. Budget allocations for democracy assistance           

7. Institutions, actors and the role of the European Union        

8. Aligning democracy-assistance activities with local priorities   

9. Gradualism and sequencing in the European Union’s democracy assistance       

Conclusions and recommendations  


About the authors           

About International IDEA

About the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy       

Give us feedback

Do you have a question or feedback about this publication? Leave us your feedback, and we’ll get back to you

Send feedback

The role of the European Union in democracy-building in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

Total views 3043
Downloads 1
Close tooltip