No party, no society: the EU’s and the US’s differing approaches to providing international aid to political parties

While both the EU and the US consider support for civil society an inseparable part of international democracy support schemes, they differ in their understanding of who the key partners for transformation are. US aid to support democratic change in societies includes providing assistance to non-governmental organisations, political parties, trade unions and businesses. In contrast, the EU restricts access to its support primarily to the non-political part of the civil society spectrum.

Including political parties and political non-governmental organisations among EU aid recipients would be a quantum leap on the way to a stronger and more comprehensive transition to democracy. This article lays down arguments to support this proposal, draws on ideas from the US experience and outlines basic schemes for its implementation.

Read the full FREE article published in the December 2015 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.