European Union as a global democracy agent

Abstract

Democracy promotion is often perceived as an American project. Yet, the European Union (EU) is also committed to spread democracy in the world. In spite of varied means and a geographically boundless policy, EU’s sole instance of real success in this regard is post-communist Europe: there, democracy promotion has been linked with EU’s enlargement policy. Yet, Europe’s current « enlargement fatigue » and the fight against terrorism render the European policy of democracy promotion in Turkey or in North African countries harder to achieve. The current context, in which many Western governments have reduced civil liberties in their own countries for security reasons, as well as some disturbing evolutions on the democratic front in several European countries, undermine the positive model influence of the West on other States. Thus, it is time for a fundamental re-thinking of the democracy promotion project.

AFRI 2008 Summary