Rethinking and Reshapingthe EU’s Democracy Supportin Its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods

1st Democracy Roundtable in Brussels

On June 17, consortium partner Carnegie Europe Foundation (CEF) organised a democracy roundtable to assess whether the current EU enlargement process is fostering democratic reforms in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Although the accession perspective is widely perceived as one of the most effective tools for supporting democracy support practices, critics have argued that the remarkably rigorous conditions for the new candidate countries risk increasing frustration and in turn hindering democratic progress.

The dinner featured opening remarks by Frank Schimmelfennig, a professor of European Politics at ETH Zurich and a leading scholar on EU enlargement and democratisation processes. Nona Mikhelidze, a senior fellow at the Italian Institute of International Affairs (IAI), participated as a respondent.

This Democracy Roundtable as part of WP7 was the first of a series of six (two per year) Brussels-based roundtables with policy makers and democracy activists. The unique objective of these dinners is to provide a complementary format of exchange on improvements for the EU’s democracy support practices, bringing together EU officials with stakeholders in a closed event.