EU democracy support follows three main avenues: political dialogue (including electoral observation), mainstreaming of democratic values and principles, and specific development programmes/projects. These development programmes/projects have traditionally focused on support to four key areas:
- credible , transparent and inclusive electoral processes
- democratic institutions and legal framework
- political and civil society, including civic education
- selected human rights, such as freedom of expression
These programmes have been complemented by a broad portfolio of cooperation projects in the arenas of civil society, human rights and good governance.
Such support is delivered through an appropriate mix of financial and political instruments adapted to the specific situation of each country. The EU backs both long-term national reform processes and democratic institution-building through its geographical programmes, as well as actions with predominantly non-state actors, aimed at empowering disenfranchised groups, promoting dialogue and accountability, and encouraging political pluralism.
Making full use of all of these geographic and thematic instruments, the Commission has committed more than 600 million Euros to the development of pluralist and inclusive democracies between 2014 and 2017.