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A critical examination of the European Union’s commitment and approach to promoting democracy and Human Rights in accession candidate countries and elsewhere in the world

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  1. Introduction
  2. The European Union's assistance: The most widespread and major aid in the world
    1. Implemented far-reaching and spreading democratic support
    2. Equal partnership with developing countries and candidate countries
  3. The evolution of the European Union's democratic assistance
    1. The European Union's assistance
    2. The multipolar changing order and the political and diplomatic goals of European member states
  4. Internal loopholes and misses which have put into question the efficiency and the quality of the European Union's democratic assistance system
    1. The tarnished efficiency of the European Union's democratic assistance
    2. The external and concrete shortcomings of the European Union's democratization mission
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

The current image of European Union's democracy promotion is marred by the discrepancies of member states' attitude vis-à-vis the Chinese violation of the Human Rights. In contrast to most European countries, Great Britain and Germany have already claimed that they will not assist to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. So, is there a common conception of the democracy promotion in the European Union, and what is it?

As we have to do an audit of the European Union's democratic assistance, it would be interesting and pertinent to observe, on the one hand, the level of the European involvement in relation to the global trend of democracy promotion. And, on the other hand, we have to emphasize the particularities and the nature which characterize the European Union's aid. Indeed, if democracy promotion may be commonly defined as a support for a human and social development, an enhancement of Human Rights, good governance and an implementation of democratic mechanisms, the tools and the way of democratic assistance are always imbued with political and historical backgrounds of the promoter.

Furthermore, no one could deny that agendas and plans of democracy promotion programs are influenced by economic interests (Burnell, 2000, p4-5). Thus, if the European Union has lauded democracy, Human Rights and good governance as the main intents of their commitment to promote democracy, it has also implemented trade and economic relationship with developing countries. What are the aftermaths of the economic and political interests for the well conduce of democracy promotion? Do they imperil the assistance programs of the European Union or, in the contrary; do they motivate the European intervention? In addition, the European Union has to manage with the candidate countries which want to enter into the regionalization process.

[...] The European Union's assistance is one of the most widespread and major aid in the world The European Union has implemented a far-reaching and spreading Democratic support in the world Since the first steps of the European regionalization process, the European Union has increased substantially its involvement in democracy promotion. In a qualitative way, the Commission of the European Communities has established legal basis and sky-high objectives to orientate its foreign policy to promote democracy. Thus, the Council of Ministers resolution in November 1991 has given the legal basis to organize the European Union's assistance. [...]

[...] In contrast with the United States, the European Union has a less impact on the decisions of international institutions as International Mundial Funding and the World Bank. This implicit fight between the two leaders of democracy promotion has made worse some predicament situations. Then, the European Union has slowed to act in the management of some post-conflicts in the case of the United States was the flagship actor. The extreme difficult resolution of ethnic conflicts and implementation of the international judicial process in Yugoslavia would have needed more commitment from the European Union. [...]

[...] This bad promotion of Human Rights is also the sign of a negligence of society and people. The European Union's approach is an elitist one of a democracy promotion through the top of society, through the institutions. Besides, most of the time, all the European interventions have been characterized by passivity and lack of reactivity. In the case of the European neighbor countries, European Union has the diplomatic means to make pressure and to impose the respect of democracy but they have not completely used them. [...]

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