Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Dt. Ausg. u.d.T.:
Der Europäische Demokratiefonds zwischen Wunsch und Wirklichkeit:
flexibel und unbürokratisch?
(Analysen und Stellungnahmen 9/2012)
In June 2012 the EU set up the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) with the aim of supporting prodemocracy actors and of doing so quickly, flexibly, unbureaucratically and audaciously. But wishful thinking and reality are still separated by a wide gap: first, integrating all relevant EU institutions and Member States in the decision-making structures of the EED might hinder flexible action. Second, what the EED is seeking to achieve, actor-centred democracy promotion in complex situations of radical change, is a highly risky venture. Third, it is unclear how the EED is to omplement existing EU instruments with similar tasks and how the fragmentation of funding structures can be avoided. Against this background, the effectiveness of the EED is contested.
To ensure that the Endowment has a positive impact, numerous key questions have yet to be answered, since the Statutes are very vague in many places. It is for the Board of Governors, which will probably meet in September 2012 for the first time, to decide what form the strategic and operational decision-making and allocation procedures should take. Only if the EED is able to take political action flexibly and the continuation of its activities in a target country in the long term is guaranteed by other EU institutions or Member States can it represent a genuine added value for European democracy promotion. For this the following aspects are of relevance:
Flexibility of procedures: If bureaucratic decision-making processes are to be avoided, it would be advisable for the Board of Governors to exercise restraint in the EED’s operational activities and to confine itself to the EED’s strategic orientation. The future Executive Director will have a key role to play in this respect.