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Rethinking and Reshaping the EU’s Democracy Support in its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood

The project sets out to rethink, reshape, and review the EU’s democracy promotion policies, while elaborating and pilot testing a novel model of a Democracy Learning Loop. The model conceives of democracy support as collective democratic learning of all stakeholders involved in the process. This approach shifts the conceptualisation of democracy support away from seeing the EU’s partners as objects of foreign policy and instead puts all actors involved centre stage in the making of a more resilient and responsive EU democracy support agenda in both neighbourhoods.

Project number: 101059811 — SHAPEDEM-EU — HORIZON-CL2-2021-DEMOCRACY-01

Duration: 2022-2025

The project is implemented by a consortium of 12 multifaceted research entities and civil society organisations based in the EU and its Southern and Eastern Neighbourhoods. Against the background of the increasing contestation of the EU and the weakening impact of its policies on democracy support practices in the Southern and Eastern Neighbourhoods, SHAPEDEM-EU will test a Democracy Learning Loop to create new channels and tools for interaction between the EU and its neighbours and transfer these findings into policy recommendations for an improved EU policy toolkit.

The project is funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe under Programmes HORIZON.2.2 - Culture, creativity and inclusive society and HORIZON.2.2.1 - Democracy and Governance.

  1. (Re)Conceptualising Democracy & Democracy Support as Social Practices.
  2. Empirical Mapping of Democracy Support & Contestation Practices in the European Neighbourhood.
  3. Fostering Action – Synthesis and Policy Recommendations.