Can Europe step up on global democracy support?


The new U.S. National Security Strategy raises a number of questions, the Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer writes for TIME:

How does the principle of “America First” square with plans to promote democracy in other countries? How much will the administration expect taxpayers to invest in the democracy promotion project?

International Human Rights Day on December 10 saw High Representative Federica Mogherini and other EU leaders make speeches celebrating Europe’s defense of democratic norms across the world. But in fact, the EU is conspicuously not stepping up to offset the United States’ diminished democracy support, writes Richard Youngs, a Senior Fellow with the Carnegie Endowment’s Democracy and Rule of Law Program:

As the United States equivocates in its pro-democracy efforts, reformers around the world are looking increasingly to European democracy support to fill the void. A reinforced European commitment to global democracy could act as an antidote to the EU’s loss of international influence and prestige in recent years. Unfortunately, so far there is little sign that European leaders are particularly interested in seizing this opportunity.

While junking the promotion of democracy would be a grave mistake, the US needs an updated and more modest approach based on three key principles, argues Hal Brands, author of American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump.

Over at, Journal of Democracy contributor Yascha Mounk discusses with National Endowment for Democracy board member Francis Fukuyama the degree to which democracy in the United States is under threat, the slow erosion of liberal norms, and the future of American identity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email