September 15, 2019

EU40 calls on the EU to stand up for DEMOCRACY!


Democracy cannot be taken for granted. On International Day of Democracy, EU40, together with more than 40 organisations and democracy experts are calling on the EU to stand up for democracy.

#StandupForDemocracy #DemocracyDay


5 recommendations for EU leadership on democracy

Democracy cannot be taken for granted. At a time of fundamental technological change, climate crisis, demographic adjustments, inequalities and power shifts between continents, the EU must promote and protect its founding principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe and abroad. The desire of citizens to meaningfully participate in decision-making is universal and over 70% of EU citizens want the EU to do more to spread democracy and peace around the world.[1] Democratic governance offers us the greatest potential for achieving inclusive, sustainable development, human rights, peace and long-term stability.

We call on the new European Commission (including the High Representative), the new European Parliament as well as European governments to undertake the 5 following actions: 

1)Prioritise democracy

Democracy is not just a slogan, it is a core value that must be protected and actively strengthened – often at the expense of other priorities.

2) Develop a democracy support policy

The EU and EU Member States need to develop an EU policy framework detailing the strategy, objectives and approach of European support for democracy.

3) Define democracy support

EU Member States and the EU institutions need to collectively agree on a clear definition of ‘democracy support’ to provide greater clarity for policy-making.

4) Adapt funding rules to democratisation

The European Commission and EU Member States need to adopt specific funding rules for democracy support programmes that take into consideration the nature of democratic change.

5) Put people on democracy

The EU institutions and EU Member States need to invest in human resources for democracy and democracy support – through the expansion of existing units, the creation of task forces on democracy in different institutions and the creation of new institutional bodies (e.g. for democracy in Europe) – in order to better coordinate democracy support programmes and policy priorities.



Article 19

Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights (DEMAS)

Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

CFI – French Media Development Agency

Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD)

Defending Democracy

Democracy International

Democracy Reporting International (DRI)

Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD)


ePaństwo Foundation


European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA)

European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES)

European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)

European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP)

European Partnership for Democracy (EPD)

European Students Forum – Election Observation (AEGEE)

Fondation EURACTIV

Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)

International Republican Institute (IRI)

Kosovar Centre for Security Studies

La Strada International

National Democratic Institute (NDI)

Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC)

Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD)

One World

Open Government Partnership

Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI)

People in Need

Political Parties of Finland for Democracy – Demo Finland

The Good Lobby

The Oslo Center

Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (UCP)

Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD)

World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM)

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)