Trends in Democracy Assistance: What Has Europe Been Doing?

Issue Date April 2008
Volume 19
Issue 2
Page Numbers 160-169
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European governments are spending more on political aid and democratization in particular. The ways in which this money is being spent have evolved. This has corrected many shortcomings of previous European democracy-promotion policies but also leaves many doubts about the effectiveness of this funding. In particular, it remains uncertain how pertinent the strong European focus on governance and social policies is to broad, systemic-level political change. Some contours of a “European” approach to democracy exist, but significant differences remain between the policies of different member states, and simplistic differentiation from US policies should be resisted.