The new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe are increasingly engaging in international democracy support, especially in the former Soviet Union and the Western Balkans. They have leveraged their membership in a number of Euro-Atlantic international organizations and used their bilateral diplomatic ties with democratization laggards to motivate and pressure them to observe democratic norms and practices. They have also been supplying small but growing amounts of democracy assistance.
The democracy promotion efforts of these countries—countries that are still grappling with some domestic democracy issues of their own—have been limited in scope and inconsistent, ad hoc, and given a low priority at times. Still, these countries have very recent, in fact ongoing experience with democratization that gives them valuable expertise and perspectives that other donors do not have, and therefore special credibility in the eyes of recipients. They also tend to tailor their efforts to the needs of their recipients and work primarily in their neighborhood, where they have considerable knowledge of local sociopolitical realities and where their own experiences are highly relevant.
The Eastern EU democracy promoters have also managed to keep the countries in the post-communist space that are not democratizing fast enough relatively high on the agenda of a number of Euro-Atlantic organizations. These efforts, however, have not yet produced the desired liberalization of neighboring autocracies. They have been important in inspiring and preparing prodemocratic forces in neighboring hybrid regimes to organize several electoral revolutions in the 2000s, but even such democratization has proven short-lived in many cases.