Demeš on European democracy assistance

June 17, 2010, 2:17 p.m.

Dr. Pavol Demeš of the German Marshall Fund traces two decades of democracy assistance in Central and Eastern Europe in an International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance report. He concludes that, due to a changing political climate, new approaches must be developed for future democracy promotion efforts, though lessons can still be learned from the past.

"Studies and conferences on democracy assistance in the last two years have tended to focus on weaknesses rather than pointing to strategies that could achieve results. Much like it did 20 years ago, Europe is again facing an unfamiliar situation. New strategies will have to be developed to make democracy assistance effective. [...] Due to security issues, energy resources and other strategically important interests connected with the remaining countries of CEE, democracy assistance programs are faced with various moral dilemmas and must embrace more compromises than before."

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