To advance democracy as a model of governance, the EU should build a new narrative that squarely promotes it as a universal aspiration but that is tailor-made to local realities in partner countries, says a new report.
Democratic regimes are no longer desired only for the principle of equal participation in public decision making, but also for their ability to safeguard the rule of law, fight corruption and deliver for citizens, International IDEA observes in The EU’s External Democracy Policy in a New Geopolitical Reality.
- The EU should thus demonstrate that democracies can act and achieve results. The EU should also counter the autocratic fallacy of democracy being a Western model and defuse ‘us versus them’ perceptions (democracies vs. the rest), which ultimately risks antagonizing weaker democracies and hybrid regimes.
- The new narrative should be humble and transparent, keeping in mind that the EU can be accused of double standards. The EU’s credibility would benefit from openly acknowledging when its own strategic interests conflict with its democracy agenda.
- Addressing its internal challenges and being more vocal about its own internal democracy and rule of law mechanisms to address them when engaging with external partners would strengthen its credibility further.
Building a new narrative could also show that the EU is ready to engage in a reciprocal dialogue with external partners and listen to them, while remaining bold about its values, it concludes. RTWT