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

SHAPEDEM-EU Kick-off conference took place in Berlin

On 5-7 October 2022, the kick-off conference of the Horizon Europe project “Rethinking and Reshaping the EU’s democracy support in its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood” (SHAPEDEM-EU) was held in Berlin. This conference brought together a consortium of twelve academic, think tank and civil society institutions based in Europe and in the Southern and Eastern Neighbourhoods.

The opening ceremony took place on the premises of the Representation of the European Commission in Germany and featured opening remarks by Professor Andrea Gawrich, SHAPEDEM-EU Coordinator, Dr Jörg Wojahn, Head of the European Commission Representation to Berlin, and Professor Larbi Sadiki, member of SHAPEDEM-EU’s International Advisory Board.

The conference provided an in-person discussion on the project’s mission and first steps. It included briefing sessions on all Work Packages, which allowed an in-depth understanding of each partner’s involvement. In addition, this facilitated conversations on SHAPEDEM-EU’s cross-cutting challenges related to gender equality and digital transformations.

During the event, there had also been an opportunity to discuss the overall goal of the project, to rethink, reshape and review the EU’s democracy support policies in its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods, and how to achieve it. In this regard, SHAPEDEM-EU will collect data in and generate policies for six case countries: Armenia, Georgia, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia and Ukraine. These data and learnings will ultimately serve to provide workable and sustainable policy recommendations that increase the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of EU democracy support policies.