Benchmarking Democratic Development in the Euro-Mediterranean Area: Conceptualising Ends, Means and Strategies

May 2007


This report was prepared at the behest of the European Commission in the framework of the EuroMeSCo Rapid Response Facility. It aims at analysing the EU’s objective of introducing a benchmarking process in the realm of human rights and democratic development within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) vis-à-vis the southern Mediterranean partner countries that are participating in the EuroMediterranean Partnership (EMP). The report argues that the EU’s current benchmarking approach suffers from a number of conceptual and analytical flaws. In view of these difficulties, this report proposes to take the conceptualisation of democratisation as a process that entails different phases as a starting point of any democracy promotion strategy. It suggests that such a model may be used as a ‘check list’ of sorts in a cross-country comparison and serve as a ‘meta-scheme’ within which specific ‘benchmarks’ in the realm of ‘human rights’ or ‘the rule of law’ may be defined and evaluated in the specific context of Euro-Mediterranean relations.

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