Democracy Week 2021- Stronger Together: Partnerships for Supporting Democracy

20/09/2021

This year’s International Democracy Week, took place online on 15-17 September around the theme ‘Stronger Together: Partnerships for supporting democracy’.

Focusing on the renewed global democracy agenda, the 2021 Democracy Week featured an exciting line-up of international speakers from across the democracy spectrum who spoke of their experiences of democracy partnerships, from inter-state cooperation, transnational and trans-sectoral partnerships to local initiatives, including former-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, EU Special Representative Eamon Gilmore, Members of the European Parliament, EU and US officials, representatives of international organisations, civil society organisations, academia and business.

Best Practices for International Democratisation Initiatives: Lessons from Georgia and the Eastern Partnership Programme

For International Day of Democracy 2021, ENoP focused on the work of European political foundations in the Eastern Partnership country of Georgia. ENoP member organisations from 3 different political families, together with their Georgian partner organisations, reflected on their activities and drew lessons for international democratisation efforts.

Following an overview of the Georgian political context by Levan Tsutskiridze (Executive Director, Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy), we heard from Lilia Chikhladze (Programme Coordinator for Democratisation Programme, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Tbilisi Office), Christian Luijckx (International Officer, Haya van Someren Foundation) & Astrid Frey (Programme Manager, Eduardo Frei Foundation) who shared the way European and Georgian foundations operate in Georgia.

 

After Afghanistan: A discussion with the Brussels democracy support community

ENoP was actively involved in the additional panel for Democracy Week 2021, having Magdalena Kirchner, Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office in Kabul, representing the perspective of European political foundations in the discussion.

The fall of Kabul has highlighted the failure of nearly 20 years of nation-building and raised questions about the effectiveness of democracy support. Executive Directors and representatives of leading European democracy support organisations reviewed what recent events in Afghanistan meant for democracy support at a time when democracy faces severe challenges, but retains significant support from citizens around the world. Speakers discussed lessons to be learned, and the kinds of democracy support now possible in Afghanistan and other countries worldwide, and looked at success stories of the recent past.