The European Endowment for Democracy is ready to initiate the work on promotion of democratic processes in the European Neighbourhood countries. Its secretariat is located in former premises of the Polish Embassy in the Kingdom of Belgium.
On 27th May 2013 in Brussels Minister R. Sikorski participated in the EED Secretariat’s opening ceremony. The event was accompanied by a poster display as well as a presentation of the most interesting independent blogs and web portals from the European Neighbourhood countries. The ceremony gathered many notable guests, the Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius among others.
The EED’s office, which will be led by the current Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Jerzy Pomianowski, is located in former premises of the Polish Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium.
The European Endowment for Democracy (EED), which is one of the flagship Polish initiatives at the EU level, will complement the offer of EU instruments supporting democracy, governments of states and human rights in the European Neighbourhood countries. The idea to create the EED was born as the answer to brutally suppressed protests in Belarus after the 2010 presidential elections as well as to the wave of civil actions directed against the dictatorships in the countries of North Africa, in 2011. In a short period of time, the initiative has gained support of member states of the EU, the High Representative C. Ashton, the Commissioner S. Fuele and the European Parliament.
Despite the upheavals during the last two years, democracy is not yet firmly embedded throughout the European Neighborhood area. The situation leaves much to be desired – and here is, where EED comes in. We are here to support those who feel lonesome. It is them, voters – common people, civil society, grassroots social movements – who should be able to contribute to the governance within their countries – Minister Sikorski underlined.
The opening of the secretariat means that, starting in July EED will begin carrying motions concerning the support of democratic actions in the countries of the Eastern Partnership and the Southern Neighborhood. The first grants will be transferred in the early autumn. The Endowment in the three forthcoming years will have at its disposal means of €25 mln.
More information on the EED’s website (www.democracyendowment.eu).