Subscribe to our newsletter

Our Mission

Five Years of EED: Supporting People Speaking Up for Democracy

Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the European Endowment For Democracy with our video featuring the achievements of EED Changemakers.

Complementarity and added value

The European Endowment for Democracy will operate in the most flexible and effective manner reflecting the situation, the specific context and the needs of its beneficiaries. It will engage in regular consultations with relevant EU institutions and other actors in order to avoid duplication and ensure synergy, complementarity and added-value to EU instruments and Member States bilateral activities.

The EED shall draw on the experience of democratic transition in the Member States of the EU.

European and independent

The European Endowment for Democracy has been created to promote the European values of freedom and democracy. A joint effort of the Member States and European Union institutions, the European Endowment for Democracy remains an independent private law foundation with its seat in Brussels.

Fostering - not exporting - democracy and freedom

The European Endowment for Democracy will advance and encourage “deep and sustainable democracy” in transition countries and in societies struggling for democratisation, with initial, although not exclusive focus, on the European Neighbourhood.
Democracy and freedom cannot be imported or imposed from outside. National ownership is indispensible to ignite the engine of change and ensure sustainable and inclusive democratisation process. The European Endowment for Democracy stands ready to assist the democratic change in the spirit of solidarity and partnership.

Supporting the unsupported

The European Endowment for Democracy will assist: pro-democratic civil society organisations, movements and individual activists acting in favour of a pluralistic multiparty system regardless of their size or formal status. The EED will also provide assistance to young leaders, independent media and journalists, provided that all the beneficiaries adhere to core democratic values and human rights as well as subscribe to principles of non-violence. Women rights organisations and female activists will be among the recipients of support and gender perspective will be mainstreamed in all decisions and EED-funded actions.

"The European Endowment for Democracy makes a real difference to democracy activists in the EU Neighbourhood, … with its speed, expertise and flexibility...

- Elmar Brok, Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee – and Chair of EED’s Board of Governors

 

EED Declaration of Establishment EED Statutes

Where we work

Where we work

In 2015, the EED mandate was extended to enable provision of grants for applications from countries in the area adjacent to the neighbourhood depending on needs, available funds, and political priorities. These include: Bahrain, Chad, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
In 2018, EED further expanded its operations to include the Western Balkans - Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
In the future EED may also potentially consider applications from other countries, depending on available funding.

Who do we support

EED supports local civic & political actors in their actions to improve democracy in their countries.

See EED grantee blog for examples of funded initiatives.

You can request EED support at any time - in Arabic, English, French & Russian.

EED adds value to existing democracy support & focuses on the “unsupported”, who are not eligible for EU or other funding.

In times of crisis, EED provides fast & flexible funding.

 

Who we are

Board of Governors

Elmar BROK

Elmar BROK

Chairperson

Member of European Parliament

Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS

Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS

Member of European Parliament

Sandra BREKA

Sandra BREKA

Civil Society Expert

Andrzej GRZYB

Andrzej GRZYB

Member of European Parliament

Bogdan Brunon WENTA

Bogdan Brunon WENTA

Member of European Parliament

Cristian Dan PREDA

Cristian Dan PREDA

Member of European Parliament

Pavol DEMES

Pavol DEMES

Civil Society Expert

Pier Antonio PANZERI

Pier Antonio PANZERI

Member of European Parliament

Lisbeth PILEGAARD

Lisbeth PILEGAARD

Chair
Civil Society Expert

Knut FLECKENSTEIN

Knut FLECKENSTEIN

Member of European Parliament

Mark DEMESMAEKER

Mark DEMESMAEKER

Member of European Parliament

Tamás MESZERICS

Tamás MESZERICS

Member of European Parliament

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • European Union

 

 

Executive Committee

Lisbeth PILEGAARD

Lisbeth PILEGAARD

Chair
Civil Society Expert

Lisbeth Pilegaard is the founder and CEO of Pilegaard Consulting – providing technical, managerial and strategic guidance on foreign affairs often in conflict settings and fragile states with a particular focus on forced displacement. Pilegaard has over 20 years of civil society experience as manager of several humanitarian organisations and programmes based in Asia, Africa, the Balkans, Caucasus and the Middle East.

During 2015, Lisbeth Pilegaard was seconded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Humanitarian Affairs Expert Adviser to support the UN High Level Panel for Humanitarian Financing. The  Secretary-General of the United Nations has created a High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing to address the global humanitarian crises, co-chaired by the Vice-President of the European Commission, Kristalina Georgieva and HRH Nazrin Shah, Sultan of Perak, Malaysia. Pilegaard also attended the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016.

Prior to consulting, she headed the Department for Middle East & North Africa at KVINFO – a leading Danish institution on Gender, Equality and Diversity. Here she lead the development of strategic partnerships between Denmark and the MENA region, working with over 90 partners within the public, private and civil society sector and the academic world to help increase women’s economic, social and political participation in the region. From 2005-2011, Pilegaard headed the technical programme Support for NRC - Norwegian Refugee Council’s more than 20 country operations and established and established and ran NRC in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran as Regional Representative from 2002 to 2005.

Pilegaard has served in various NGO/UN/EU committees and working groups on development and humanitarian aid coordination, coherence and transparency. She was a Civil Society Member of the Danish Delegation in the 2013 UN Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) and sat in the council of the NGO Action Aid – Denmark from 2013-2015 and has been a board member of Transparency International – DK Chapter. Pilegaard is appointed Adviser to UN Compact Cities Programme in Australia.

Pilegaard studied Rhetoric with a focus on international peace negotiations at the University of Copenhagen, and is a regular speaker at academic and political institutions, including the NATO school in Oberammergau, Germany and the Global Refugee Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark.

Sandra BREKA

Sandra BREKA

Civil Society Expert

Sandra Breka was appointed Senior Vice President of the Robert Bosch Stiftung in April 2013. In this position, she is Head of the Berlin Representative Office and responsible for the liaison with public and private partners in Berlin. Her portfolio furthermore includes the Robert Bosch Academy, a multilateral and interdisciplinary think tank, as well as the foundation’s international efforts with regard to peace and conflict transformation. She joined the Robert Bosch Stiftung as Program Officer in January 2001. As Head of its Berlin Office from 2006 to 2013, she was responsible for programs focusing on Southeast Europe, transatlantic relations and India as well as global issues.

Previously, Sandra Breka served as Program Director for Southeast Europe, transatlantic relations and security issues at the Aspen Institute Berlin after an assignment with the American Council on Germany in New York City. After studies in Germany, France and the United States, she obtained her M.A. at Columbia University in New York. She was a Yale World Fellow in 2008. Sandra Breka is a Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED).

Pavol DEMES

Pavol DEMES

Civil Society Expert

Pavol Demeš is an internationally recognized NGO leader based in Bratislava. After the democratic changes in 1989 he served as the Executive Director of the Slovak Academic Information Agency – Service Centre for the Third Sector, a leading NGO in the country at the time. He served as Minister of International Relations (1991-92) and Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Slovak Republic (1993-97). After 10 years as Director for Central and Eastern European of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (2000-10), Demeš is currently the organisation’s non-resident senior fellow, as well as external advisor to the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Prior to entering the field of public affairs after the Velvet Revolution, Demeš was a bio-medical researcher at Comenius University in Bratislava. He is a graduate of Charles University in Prague, and was a public policy research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. in 1999.

Demeš has written numerous publications on democracy and civil society, and has received the EU-US Democracy and Civil Society and USAID’s Democracy and Governance Awards.

José María MURIEL

José María MURIEL

ES

José María Muriel has served in the Spanish Diplomatic Service since 1990. After posts at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union and the Spanish Embassies in the United States and Canada, he is currently serving as the Technical Secretary General at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. 

Muriel has also occupied the positions of the Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain as well as Consul General of Spain in Hannover, Germany. While working for EU institutions, he held posts of Referendaire at the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Head of the Justice, Security and Human Rights Team at the EU Delegation to the United States. He was also advised the Cabinet of the President of the Government of Spain on bilateral relations in Europe and European affairs.

In addition to his diplomatic career, Muriel teaches European affairs, human rights and other subjects at the Spanish Diplomatic School and other institutions in Madrid. Muriel also holds a Law Degree from University of Córdoba, and a Master in High European Legal Studies from the College of Europe. He has published numerous articles and books predominantly focusing on European affairs.

 

 

Maria LIGOR

Maria LIGOR

RO

Before her current position as the Minister Delegate for the Relations with Romanians Abroad, Maria Ligor served as the Ambassador of Romania to Canada and Ambassador-at-Large, Special Representative for the Promotion of Democracy.

Between 2006 and 2011 she was the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, as well as Permanent Representative to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). She briefly served as an ad interim Secretary General of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 2003 to 2006, as Director General for European Affairs (EU and bilateral relations).

A diplomat since 1996, she has worked at the Mission of Romania to the EU (1998-2002), at the Embassy in Luxembourg (1997), and in Bucharest, at the Directorates for Political Planning, for the European Union, and for Western Europe. She also gained internship experience at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

Maria Ligor has a Master’s Degree from the College of Europe in Bruges, and a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Political Sciences from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Her training includes studies at the European Institute of the University of Geneva, and programmes such as “Managing and Shaping Change in the Information Society”, from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government, and the Kokkalis Project in Athens. In Romania, she specialized in International Relations at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies, after graduating from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest in 1990.

Jerzy POMIANOWSKI

Jerzy POMIANOWSKI

Executive Director

Jerzy Pomianowski took the leadership of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) after two years as Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland. In this most recent position, he coordinated among others the Polish Foreign Policy democratization agenda, which included the establishment of the EED, a flagship initiative of the Polish EU Presidency in 2011.

As the director of OECD-UNDP’s Partnership for Democratic Governance (2008-2011), Pomianowski supported countries destabilised by armed conflict or natural disasters. This followed his launch of Poland Aid (2006-08) and work as Director General of the Polish Foreign Service (2005-06).

Pomianowski began his career as a civil servant in 1990, just after the fall of communism, first in the Ministry of Education, and then in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After being in charge of Poland’s relations with Asia, Middle East and Africa, he was Ambassador to Japan from 1997-2002.

From 1980-89, Pomianowski was an active member of the democratic opposition in Poland. He was a board member of the Independent Students’ Association and co-founder of the students’ independent publishing house during his Sociology studies at University of Warsaw.

Founder of the Warsaw Centre for Japanese Sports, Pomianowski devotes his free time to manage the Polish Aikido Federation as its present president.

 

Our Team:

 

17 people of 15 nationalities, including Moldova, Lebanon and Georgia, make up the EED secretariat team. We have lived and worked in the countries we support, and remain in close contact with our partners, both on-line and off.

 

 

 

Funding Members

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • European Union

Special Initiatives

 is supporting grassroots democracy in Ukraine. EED is managing the Canadian C$ 5 million contribution to provide grants for Ukrainian civil society development.

Netherlands funded - together with Latvia - EED to lead a feasibility study on “Bringing Plurality & Balance to Russian Language Media”. The recommendations were finalised in June 2015.

back to top
website security

Log in to members area