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

Rethinking, Reshaping, and Reviewing EU's Democracy Support: New Project SHAPEDEM-EU Kicks Off Activities

The new EU project SHAPEDEM-EU sets out to rethink, reshape, and review the EU's democracy support policies in its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods. Through six case studies in Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Armenia, the project will assess the EU's democracy support policies, with a focus on gender equality and digital transformation. The investigation will also consider the roles of EU member states, key EU institutions, third-country actors, and international organisations. The aim is to develop a completely new approach to democracy support, based on shared learning among all stakeholders, as a social and inclusive practice. The new approach will translate into improved policy recommendations for the EU's policy toolkit. SHAPEDEM-EU will strive to improve the accountability and transparency of the European Union and make Neighbourhood countries more resilient and equitable.

Coordinated by the University of Giessen, SHAPEDEM-EU brings together a multinational and multifaceted research consortium comprising six universities (from Ukraine, Lebanon, Germany, Denmark, Poland, and the United Kingdom), three think tanks (from Belgium, Italy, and Spain), and two civil society groups (one from Tunisia and one umbrella organisation covering groups from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine).

Over the next three years, the SHAPEDEM-EU project will receive EUR 2.8 million in funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe Programme for Research and Innovation. The consortium officially started its activities with a face-to-face meeting in Berlin on October 6-7, 2022.