“The Endowment comes at a very timely moment, as 2013 will be a crucial year for democratic transitions, in particular in the EU’s neighbourhood. The European Endowment for Democracy can play a very important role. By working directly with those in the field, who are striving for democracy; and by offering flexible, non-bureaucratic and dedicated procedures that are tailored to the needs and demands on the ground.”
Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission.
European and independent
The European Endowment for Democracy has been created to promote the European values of freedom and democracy. A joint effort of the Member States and European Union institutions, the European Endowment for Democracy remains an independent private law foundation with its seat in Brussels.
Fostering - not exporting - democracy and freedom
The European Endowment for Democracy will advance and encourage “deep and sustainable democracy” in transition countries and in societies struggling for democratisation, with initial, although not exclusive focus, on the European Neighbourhood.
Democracy and freedom cannot be imported or imposed from outside . National ownership is indispensible to ignite the engine of change and ensure sustainable and inclusive democratisation process. The European Endowment for Democracy stands ready to assist the democratic change in the spirit of solidarity and partnership.
Supporting the unsupported
The European Endowment for Democracy will assist: pro-democratic civil society organisations, movements and individual activists acting in favour of a pluralistic multiparty system regardless of their size or formal status. The EED will also provide assistance to young leaders, independent media and journalists, provided that all the beneficiaries adhere to core democratic values and human rights as well as subscribe to principles of non-violence. Women rights organisations and female activists will be among the recipients of support and gender perspective will be mainstreamed in all decisions and EED-funded actions.
Complementarity and added value
The European Endowment for Democracy will operate in the most flexible and effective manner reflecting the situation, the specific context and the needs of its beneficiaries. It will engage in regular consultations with relevant EU institutions and other actors in order to avoid duplication and ensure synergy, complementarity and added-value to EU instruments and Member States bilateral activities.
The EED shall draw on the experience of democratic transition in the Member States of the EU.