The EU is poised to release new policies to bolster democracy in a digital age. How well these policies fare will depend on how well Europe tackles domestic challenges to democracy.
The coronavirus pandemic is prompting contrasting trends in European democracy. While the crisis is aggravating many stresses that afflict democracy in Europe, it is also propelling democratic efforts in a number of areas.
The EU’s assistance for civil society partners in Turkey, the Western Balkans, and Eastern Europe needs to evolve in response to the more challenging environments activists in these countries now face.
The EU needs to decide whether democracy support is core to how it defines its geostrategic interests. This will determine whether its new democracy strategy can reverse the union’s creeping democratic passivity.
In light of big geopolitical changes, the EU has focused on improving its microlevel democracy support. But it most urgently needs a rethink at the macrolevel of its democracy strategy.