European Endowment for Democracy

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Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, met on 9 January 2013 to discuss "the strategic vision and mandate of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), a new initiative to foster democracy in the EU’s neighbourhood, and appointed a Polish diplomat as its executive director.

"Almost two years after the idea surfaced for creating a European Endowment for Democracy (see background), this new initiative, largely inspired by the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy, is beginning to take shape.

"The board of governors of the EED met in Brussels, co-chaired by Ashton and MEP Elmar Brok (European People's Party, Germany), chair of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan Füle also participated.

"The Board discussed the strategic vision and mandate for the EED and appointed Jerzy Pomianowski, Poland's undersecretary of state for foreign affairs, as its executive director, said a statement from the group. Pomianowski is also president of the Polish Aikido Federation.

"The EED's mandate includes supporting political parties, non-registered NGOs, trade unions and other social groups mainly in the countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).

"In November, the programme received modest funding of €6 million. But the money only covers administrative costs, while activities are expected to be funded by member states or other donors, such as foundations. Several member states together with Switzerland, which is represented on the board, have reportedly pledged up to €8 million for EED activities...

"On 13 November, the EED board held its first meeting in Brussels. Nine MEP serve on the board with Brok as chairman. Based in Brussels, the EED should be operational during the first half of 2013." [1]

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  1. euractiv Polish diplomat to lead European Endowment for Democracy, organizational web page, accessed March 8, 2013.