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Democracy assistance in the Mediterranean: an overview

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Democracy assistance has increasingly featured in the foreign policy discourse of the European Union toward the Mediterranean. This article overviews three of its key aspects. First, it shows how the Mediterranean has become an area for democracy assistance. Second, it focuses on the implementation of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), with a special emphasis on microprojects funded in the Mediterranean, showing the gaps between discourse and practice. Finally, the article briefly sketches the current format of the EIDHR, which covers 2007-13, questioning whether it represents an improvement. The overall goal is to offer a starting point to readers interested in the topic, by summarizing historical developments of democracy assistance in the EU, its legal framework and issues arising from its implementation in the Mediterranean.

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