Club de Madrid to participate in a session about populism and economic challenges in democratic transitions

Former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Fouad al Sanyoura, and former President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández, also Members of the Club de Madrid, have been invited to participate. This high level event is being jointly organized by five of the UN regional commissions: Europe; Asia and the Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean; Africa and Western Asia.

Ambassador Westendorp will participate in the session “The European Union and Regional Integration: What models and policy options?” He will focus on the strategic importance of the Middle East and North Africa for Europe and will advocate for a stronger integration between the countries of the area. The European model has often been taken as a model of regional integration and this session will aim to share lessons learnt from this experience and design that aim for comprehensive integration. Other questions on the agenda will be how the EU support can foster further regional integration in the Arab transition; what options for further cooperation between the two regions are possible or the role for the EU or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in this process.

The high-level meeting, “Beyond Populism: Economic Challenges and Opportunities in Democratic Transitions” aims to provide a forum for Arab leaders and policy makers to discuss with leaders from around the world the short term economic challenges faced by States during transitions to democracy. They will also explore the mitigating role that regional coordination can play in a transitional period.

The Arab region today stands at one of the most critical junctures of its modern history. While political grievances and demands for freedom, justice and dignity have dominated the streets of Arab uprisings, socioeconomic discontent has fueled these protests. Yet discussion of the pathways to economic reform in the Arab region lags behind debates on political reform.

Club de Madrid projects and initiatives active in the Middle East and North Africa

  • Political Leadership for Democratic Transitions in the MENA Region: as a continuation of the CdM’s work in the MENA region it focuses on building trust with current authorities to identify and validate the transitional and reform issues in three main countries: Libya, Tunisia and Jordan. The EU funded projects brings together government representatives and CdM Members to share and discuss democratic experiences build consensus and develop their vision for the ongoing reform process. 
  • Supporting Democracy in Libya (SUDEL): based on their belief in democratic values a consortium of 4 partners developed the SUDEL project to support reconciliation processes and democracy building in Libya. The EU funded project works directly with Libya stakeholders, involved in democracy building providing them with the necessary technical and operation support to foster dialogue and citizens engagement.
  • LEND Network: leverages expertise from the Club de Madrid and 21st century technologies to connect leaders who have navigated the challenges of democratization with leaders in emerging democracies. It provides peer advice and capacity building to political leaders and policy makers in Eastern Europe and North Africa
  • INSPIRED: is an EU funded initiative that works with civil society in five countries (Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan) to support its role in developing specific policies that chosen by local partners in each of the countries. The Organisation Marocaine des Droits Humains is the local project in Morocco for INSPIRED an initiative led by the European Partnership for Democracy.