EPD fundamentally contributes to advancing the policy debate in Europe. The last few years have witnessed the opening of an important debate on the role of the EU in worldwide democracy support. EPD has been involved in this debate as a proactive partner, working in close cooperation with the EU institutions and Member States, as well as with other stakeholders. Through its EU office, EPD channels contributions and expertise from EU Member States and its own projects in the field, disseminating the outcomes of the debates in Brussels, participating in various forums and platforms, as well as organising and supporting conferences and knowledge-sharing events, where the fundamental issues surrounding the EU's engagement in democracy support can be further debated.
Zimbabwe delegation visit to The Hague and Brussels
A delegation from Zimbabwe visited the EPD Offices in connection with the UN International Day of Democracy celebrations as well as the third anniversary of the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe. Events took place and meetings were organised both at the EPD Office in The Hague and at the EPD headquarters in Brussels in order to create a constructive dialogue with policy makers. Read More
Roundtable: "Europe and its Neighbourhood: Towards a
Renewed Partnership for Democracy"
On May 25 - 26, 2011, the Community of Democracies, together with EPD, celebrated a roundtable on "Europe and its Neighbourhood: Towards a Renewed Partnership for Democracy" which was hosted by the Polish Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.
After the ground-breaking events in the Arab world, the two-day roundtable aimed at facilitating the dialogue between civil society representatives and policy makers at EU and national levels, contributing to building bridges for enhanced cooperation and coherence in supporting the neighbouring countries' democratic evolution. It represented a unique opportunity to bring together high-level policy makers and civil society representatives to discuss the political, social, economic and institutional implications of recent developments in the European neighbourhood. Read More
Policy Debriefing: Where is Moldova heading?
On December 9, 2010, EPD, in partnership with the Open Society Institute-Brussels and the EU Moldova Forum, with the support of UNDP Moldova, organised a post -elections policy debriefing entitled "Where is Moldova heading?" The discussions were held by leading political analysts Arcadie Barbarosie from the Institute for Public Policy (IPP), Elena Prohnitchi from the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT), and Nicu Popescu from the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR). Discussants included Monica Macovei, head of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Republic of Moldova and Remi Duflot, desk officer for the Republic of Moldova, DG External Relations, European Commission.
Conference: Strengthening cooperation between Europe and
Africa on democratic reform
While the development of democracy in African states has been facing challenges, the African Union and the European Union have developed frameworks and policies supporting these complex processes. The aim of the conference "Strengthening cooperation between Europe and Africa on Democratic Reform" was to take stock of practices and policies, review cooperation instruments in support of democratisation in Africa and assess the political challenges and opportunities in a policy area in constant flux. The two-day conference was organized by EPD on October 11-12, 2010, in partnership with the Belgian Presidency of the European Union, the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), the Egmont Institute, the Institute for Security Studies (iSS) and the Observatoire de l'Afrique. It brought together African and European policy makers, analysts and stakeholders to share their knowledge and enable advocacy work within European institutions.
Some of the recommendations and conclusions drawn from the conference advanced the debate on democracy support in Africa, and served EU institutions, member states, and other stakeholders to understand that cooperation between donors and beneficiaries is a necessity; coordination and coherence among donors is crucial for the effectiveness and legitimacy of the democratic consolidation process; local ownership and capacities should be strengthened; and more work needs to be done with regards to the entire election process, extending instances of dialogue at national, regional and international level.
Luncheon seminar: Assessment of the ongoing Constitutional
reform process with representatives of Zimbabwean civil society organisations
On September 14, 2010, EPD organized a Luncheon Seminar in Brussels eliciting the second anniversary of the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement. During this event, testimonies of the Constitutional reform process consultation phase were shared by involved Zimbabweans with representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, the Belgian EU Presidency and European civil society organizations working in Zimbabwe. The seminar was organized in conjunction with the meeting of Zimbabwean civil society representatives in the European Parliament, also co-organized by EPD and the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN). The latter gave the opportunity to Zimbabwean civil society leaders, members of the European Commission, staff from Member States Permanent Representations and other decision makers, such as from the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European NGO representatives, ZEN members and partners, and Zimbabweans living in The Netherlands and Belgium to exchange ideas on the ongoing constitutional reform process and possible scenarios for the future of the country.
Transatlantic Dialogue: Strengthening EU-US cooperation
on democracy support
EPD has provided assistance in implementing the two-year transatlantic dialogue programme on "Strengthening EU-US Cooperation on Democracy Support." On June 27-29, 2010 the dialogue started with an opening conference organized in Washington DC. The National Democratic Institute (NDI) carried out the programme, funded by the European Commission, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).
Bringing together current and former US and EU administration officials, Members of Congress, Members of the European Parliament, experts from think thanks, academia and the broader democracy and transatlantic policy community, the conference included a series of panel discussions on selected areas where opportunities exist to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on democracy and human rights.
A set of specific, actionable policy recommendations to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on democracy support were developed and signed by the dialogue participants. EPD positioned itself as a central civil society actor within the European Union, and gained the necessary visibility to become a focal point in the transatlantic dialogue on democracy support.
Presentation/debate on the project report: "Assessing
international democracy assistance"
On February 16, 2010, EPD in partnership with FRIDE and supported by UNDEF, organized a presentation and debate on the report on the project "Assessing International Democracy Assistance." The event assembled a select group of key policy makers and NGO practitioners to discuss the central findings of the project.
The project evaluated democracy assistance programmes, following several failures of democratic transitions. Its aim was to assess a range of core questions across a large number of different target states for democracy promotion strategies. These included best practices and less effective approaches and programmes, possible reasons for their success or failure, and most importantly, the best way forward given the changing political landscape.
The project report launched on February 16, gave the opportunity to the participants to contribute to the preliminary conclusions with their views and experience, share their knowledge and advance the debate on aid effectiveness within the European Union.
of Moldovan Civil Society representatives
A delegation of Civil Society representatives from Moldova visited Brussels between June 15 and 19 2009 on behalf of the Moldovan Civil Society Organizations (CSO)s as a result of the political crisis in the aftermath of the elections that had taken place previously in April. They addressed the EU institutions and called for more observation and support in the next parliamentary elections.
Moldova is part of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership in which the participating countries commit themselves to a cooperation based on principles of international law and fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The crises on EU's border should not be perceived as an internal matters of the neighbouring states. These meetings are therefore held to address the EU institutions in the call for more attention and support.
EPD and Europe-Zimbabwe Network Meeting between Zimbabwean Civil Society Representatives and European and Political Society
In June 2009, EPD organised a meeting with Zimbabwean Civil Society leaders for Brussels policy-makers and NGOs. At the meeting the progress of implementation of the Global Political Agreement was presented and discussed. EPD co-organised this event with Zimbabwe-Europe Network (ZEN). Following the establishment of functional working relations in the course of 2009.
This cooperation is still active. The two year celebration of the GPA was celebrated in Brussels in 2010 with EPD partners ZEN. A luncheon was co-organised to review the developments achieved and to discuss possible further cooperation to fulfil the agreement.
Democracy Awards Ceremony
In cooperation with the Dutch organisations Forum For Democratic Development and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, EPD co-organised awards ceremonies in recognition of individual contributions to democracy, held in the Hague in November 2009 and in September 2010 to mark the International Day of Democracy.