Democracy on the Rise:
Broad Coalitions Rising Up to Demand
ore Open, Accountable Governance and Less Corruption
in Europe & Eurasia
Fall is shaping up to be a busy season. This month I have traveled to Tbilisi and Warsaw and will soon be heading to Bucharest and Brussels as part of our ongoing campaign to inform and engage partners on USAID’s Countering Malign Kremlin Influence Development Framework. I am very grateful to our friends at the McCain Institute, the International Republican Institute, Community of Democracies and the German Marshall Fund for hosting me and advancing international conversations on the most pressing topics of the day in Europe and Eurasia.
These events are well-timed, taking place as the world pauses mid-month each September to recognize
International Day of Democracy
. In Europe and Eurasia, the trajectory of democracy deserves recognition.
Throughout the region, where it once seemed the entrenched interests would never release their grip on government, democracy is at last on the rise. In Ukraine, for example, citizens went to the polls earlier this year to elect a new president and parliament committed to fighting corruption. In Moldova, a pro-Western, reform-oriented government just took power. The Armenian people have peacefully and democratically embarked upon a new chapter following the Velvet Revolution. After nearly thirty years of stalled disputes, North Macedonia has a new path forward toward greater Euro-Atlantic integration in the wake of the historic Prespa Agreement. And even in Belarus, where diplomatic relations have finally warmed, new opportunities are taking shape. Over the course of several high-level engagements, we see a new willingness on their side to engage issues of historic concern, such as respect for human rights and economic development. Each of these developments stands to advance E&E nations further along their journey to self-reliance.
These wins have not come easily, but many of them are the result of broad coalitions -- from civil society to young people, seasoned reform activists to first-time voters, independent media and ordinary citizens alike -- demanding more open, accountable governance and less corruption. These developments bring us new optimism for the future.
-Brock Bierman, USAID Assistant Administrator