Image credit: International IDEA
The European Union and its Member States are the biggest providers of democracy support worldwide. Advancing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms is one of the objectives of the EU´s external action, as set out in Article 21 of the Treaty on the European Union. However, rather than being a stand-alone, fully-fledged policy, the EU´s external democracy policy is mainstreamed in other EU external policies and its action remains covered by various funding instruments and programmes.
With the launch of the “Sweden EU-Presidency & the Democracy Agenda” programme, International IDEA – Regional Europe Office is assessing the relevance of the EU´s external democracy policy to investigate what is the actual role of the EU as a democracy partner.
Considering the shifts in the state of democracy and major geopolitical challenges and crisis, feedback and insights from democracy partners and actors in the Global South and in the European neighbourhood will inform recommendations on a potential recalibration of EU policies, including the mid-term review of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy planned for June 2023.
As Sweden will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first semester of 2023, the project activities and findings will be used to support Sweden´s efforts to prioritize democracy on the EU foreign policy agenda.