Following the Arab Spring, the European Union and its Member States have established – on a Polish initiative – the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The aim is to foster and encourage deep and sustainable democracy in transition countries, and in societies struggling for democratisation. It is hoped that the EED will complement other instruments for promoting democracy both within and outside the EU.
The aims of the EED are to be achieved through providing funds to specific civil society actors, initially in the European Neighbourhood.
To complement other instruments in democracy promotion, EED will introduce an element of flexibility in its initiatives to support democratisation.
The EED is to be funded by voluntary contributions, in particular from Member States. So far it has secured about €14 million.
Reaction to the establishment of EED has varied. In the potential target countries, reactions have ranged from welcoming amongst civil society representatives to worries about meddling in the internal affairs of the countries, by their governments.