GMF launches its new Engaging Central Europe program

For nearly two decades following the democratic revolutions of 1989—1990, Central Europe was the epicenter of the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ (GMF) democracy assistance work. 

Today, in response to the growing challenges to democracy in this region, GMF is proud to announce the establishment of its new Engaging Central Europe (ECE) program—a dedicated civil society support and democracy assistance mechanism for the heart of Europe.

Engaging Central Europe is built on the understanding that democracy and security in the region are closely intertwined: only a democratic Central Europe can be a secure Central Europe. The program is designed as a multi-faceted, multi-year, and multi-donor democracy program that combines grantmaking and capacity building with policy analysis and support for democratic resilience. In so doing, ECE supports the easternmost members of the European Union and NATO against illiberal and authoritarian tendencies.

“Thirty years ago, during Central Europe’s historic transformation process, GMF was a forerunner of democracy assistance across the region.  Today, GMF returns to the region as the center of political and security gravity in Europe shifts east,” says Heather A. Conley, President of the German Marshall Fund.  “With an increasing number of U.S. allies’ democracies are under threat, GMF’s long-standing engagement with civil society in Central Europe positions us exceptionally well to support the democratic needs of this vital region.”  

Joining the established family of GMF civil society programs, ECE is looking forward to building strong and long-lasting partnership with civic organizations and activists in Central Europe and to support their efforts to build freedom, democracy, and pluralism in their societies.