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Not so well endowed

17.01.2013 / 03:20 CET
New Polish executive director for the European Endowment for Democracy body.
A Pole has been appointed to head the European Endowment for Democracy, a body established last year by the European Union's member states – at arm's length – to promote democracy in the EU's neighbourhood.

Jerzy Pomianowski, the newly named executive director, is currently a state secretary in the foreign ministry. He has experience of leading a small, nascent organisation in a related area: he directed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Partnership for Democratic Governance before rejoining the Polish foreign ministry in 2011.

The choice of a Pole is not surprising because Poland has been the most enthusiastic champion of the EED. Moreover, after the European Commission (€6.2 million) it is the biggest financial contributor so far to the EED, having stumped up €5m, ahead of the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland (collectively, €3m).

None of the other six members of the executive board – three of them from civil society – comes from a country that has yet contributed to the EED's target of €10m-€20m in voluntary contributions.

The separation between money and day-to-day influence might go some way to countering suggestions that the EED will adopt a neo-colonial approach to democratisation. On the other hand, the EED could do with a few more donations.
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.
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