EP democracy support activities and their follow-up, and prospects for the future

18-01-2019

The Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) is responsible for coordinating the democracy support activities of the European Parliament (EP). Over the course of the eighth legislature, the DEG has aimed to bring strategic focus to its democracy support activities through the introduction of a Comprehensive Democracy Support Approach (CDSA). While the introduction of the CDSA has outlined a vision for more focused and strategic interventions around the electoral cycle, the implementation remains a ‘work in progress’. There have been some innovative and long-term activities that bring coherence with EU policies, notably in Ukraine, but also there continue to be some cases of one-off actions without clear objectives. The comparative advantage of the EP in democracy support is its political perspective and ability to work ‘peer to peer’ with other parliamentarians, which has been demonstrated in its capacity building and mediation and dialogue activities. Overall the EP should continue to strive to be innovative and strategic in its democracy support, working where it has influence and bringing policy coherence with broader EU priorities. Election observation remains relevant, and follow-up to observer recommendations could be enhanced. The Sakharov Prize and the activities around it, which are also coordinated by the DEG, are consistent with EU values, including through support for human rights defenders and civil society.

The Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) is responsible for coordinating the democracy support activities of the European Parliament (EP). Over the course of the eighth legislature, the DEG has aimed to bring strategic focus to its democracy support activities through the introduction of a Comprehensive Democracy Support Approach (CDSA). While the introduction of the CDSA has outlined a vision for more focused and strategic interventions around the electoral cycle, the implementation remains a ‘work in progress’. There have been some innovative and long-term activities that bring coherence with EU policies, notably in Ukraine, but also there continue to be some cases of one-off actions without clear objectives. The comparative advantage of the EP in democracy support is its political perspective and ability to work ‘peer to peer’ with other parliamentarians, which has been demonstrated in its capacity building and mediation and dialogue activities. Overall the EP should continue to strive to be innovative and strategic in its democracy support, working where it has influence and bringing policy coherence with broader EU priorities. Election observation remains relevant, and follow-up to observer recommendations could be enhanced. The Sakharov Prize and the activities around it, which are also coordinated by the DEG, are consistent with EU values, including through support for human rights defenders and civil society.