A new European approach to promoting democracy

Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament The Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament has welcomed the adoption of Véronique De Keyser’s report on the Union’s external policies in support of democratisation, while highlighting at the same time the need for a new European approach to this end.

Véronique De Keyser, vice-president of the S&D Group, says that the EU needs to overhaul its approach to promoting democracy in the world while simultaneously placing values, coherence and a genuine culture of results at the heart of the project. Doing so, she continues, requires an inclusive and more coherent policy that merges together the various external policy spheres, a central role for the European Parliament and evaluations of the different instruments in accordance with the results they produce, not simply how they operate.

“We must value the important role social movements have played in the recent revolutions within the Arab world,” observes Véronique de Keyser. “Support from Europe for civil society and trade unions, mutual societies, political parties, associations of women and young people, farmers’ groups, NGOs, social movements and activists must be stepped up in order to enable them to become better organised. The new EEAS, through detailed knowledge of conditions on the ground, should serve to identify these. Moreover, there must be a firm emphasis on freedom and protection for the media as well as on social, cultural and political rights.”

Furthermore, Véronique De Keyser regrets the removal by EPP, ALDE and Conservative group members of the paragraph urging parity between men and women when appointing EEAS delegation chiefs; in contrast, the Council decision of 26 July 2010 establishing the organisation of the EEAS calls for recruitment to be based on merit and gender balance at every level.

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