Twenty Years of Western Democracy Assistance in Central and Eastern Europe
Before the European Union and its allies can effectively promote democracy in other countries, they need to address the internal problems brought on by the global economic crisis, from which they have not yet fully recovered. Democracy assistance needs to be tailored to the specific needs and expectations of each country and handled with tact and with respect for local democracy activists. Donor countries also need to be aware of ways that pursuing their own economic or security goals can tarnish their democratic credibility. Despite all these challenges, recent history has provided ample evidence that the human spirit and solidarity can overcome even the direst obstacles and may be our strongest resource in the quest for democracy and cooperation in Europe and beyond.