East and Southeast Europe
years ago, the people of the East and Southeast Europe were still living under communist rule. After
peaceful revolutions for freedom in the last decade of the previous century,
many countries managed to build democracies and market economy-based systems in
an impressively short period of time - a tremendous success of liberal
principles. Our Foundation has supported democratization, the restructuring of
economies and the growth of civil societies right from the beginning, through
political consulting, dialogue, and education and training.
Today twelve countries from the region are members of NATO and eleven are members of the EU. The accessions did not mean that change stopped, but they were meant to give it a value-based context. But beneath the formally established systems of democracy and market economies, clear flaws in business, the rule of law, and open civil society remain visible, albeit in different forms. The Foundation's activities therefore concentrate on promoting the values and institutions of the EU as well as integrating regional partner organisations with the organisations of European liberalism.
the countries that have already joined the EU or are striving to do so, there
are also countries that have made little progress on the path to democracy and
the rule of law. In some cases a return to authoritarian structures may be
seen. In these countries, the Foundation works - often under very difficult
conditions - to strengthen the forces promoting freedom, human rights,
democracy, and the market economy. Special attention is paid to cross-border
dialogues aimed at conflict resolution and prevention.
Supporting liberal parties and think tanks is a core focus of the Foundation's work in the region. Networking these organisations at the regional level is especially important. Doing so allows the organisations to exchange their experiences and jointly elaborate liberal reform concepts.