Building a sustainable future for democracy in Eastern Europe

Working towards a new, transformative reset in conceptualizing, policy-making, and implementing democracy in the eastern neighborhood.

As the geopolitical landscape continues to evolve, fostering democratic principles becomes increasingly crucial in ensuring stability, prosperity, and human rights for the nations situated in the EU’s immediate vicinity. Despite progress, some Eastern European countries have faced challenges and setbacks in consolidating democratic practices. For example, according to the Democracy Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Eastern Europe’s average regional score declined to 5.36 in 2020, compared with 5.42 in 2019. This is below the region’s score of 5.76 in 2006, when the index was first published.

Against this background, the REDEMOS EU-funded project aims to break new ground by proposing a wholesale, transformative reset in conceptualizing, policy-making, and implementing democracy in the eastern neighborhood, while ensuring that voices of marginalized groups are heard.

The research will be conducted over a period of three years (2023-2025), and it aims to understand and address the main challenges to democracy in the EU’s eastern neighborhood, as well as to suggest ways forward for EU democracy support in the region.

In fact, the project is distinctively separated in three (3) phases, each of which is designed to build upon the findings and insights of the previous one:

  • the first stage of the project takes stock of EU and EU Member States’ democracy support efforts in the EU’s eastern neighborhood over the past decade, as well as of the six countries’ individual efforts at democratization.
  • the second phase aims to critically analyze the EU’s current role and future aspirations in supporting democracy in the eastern neighborhood, and the eastern neighbors’ democracy building achievements and failures.
  • the final stage co-creates a new and improved Policy Toolkit enabling a permanent shift from passive democracy promotion to active and impactful democracy collaboration in the neighborhood.

The project consortium, coordinated by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), consists of eleven research-oriented and academic institutions from all across Europe:

Six universities (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Surrey, Yerevan State University, Kyiv School Of Economics, Technische Universität Dresden and University Of St. Gallen)

"We are committed to taking a deep dive into the full array of political and governance regimes in the EU's eastern neighborhood, from flawed democratization in some countries, to democratic regression and even repressive authoritarianism in others. Equally important, if democracy is being forced out in the region, then so too are the voices of marginalized groups, including women’s voices. This is why it is so powerful to have an all-female-led team exploring these existential issues for liberal democracy, sending a crucial message in support of empowerment and inclusivity."
Dr. Mădălina Dobrescu
NTNU, Principal Investigator and Project Coordinator

To keep track with the REDEMOS project, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about our work, contact us directly.