The European Commission allocated 6 million Euros to launch the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) in November. Endowment was conceived in the framework of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).
The endowment has at the moment 11 million Euros in funds thanks to the Commission and Poland and more funds are expected from Sweden, Netherlands and Switzerland, even though country is not a member of the EU.
EED’s aim is to help political parties, non-registered NGOs, trade unions and other social partners to promote deep and sustainable democracy as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Neighbouring Countries as a Priority
The endowment’s geographical focus will be EU’s European Neighbourhood. It will aim to help new actors that face obstacles accessing EU funding. It will offer a rapid and flexible funding mechanism for beneficiaries who are supported insufficiently or unsupported at the moment.
EED is expected to encourage deep and sustainable democracy in countries in transition and in societies struggling for democracy.
More Active Democracy Promotion
Expectations are high: although the EED is autonomous from the EU institutions, it is to ensure that EU plays a more active role in democracy promotion and compensate the serious shortcomings of existing programs as the EIDHR (European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights).
The endowment was established earlier this year, but it remains unclear how it is to complement existing EU instruments in similar tasks.
Picture European Parliament cc2.0.