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Published by: Pearltrees2 on Feb 25, 2011
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Democracy Building in LatinAmerica and the Caribbean:Can the European UnionContribute?
Gustavo Emmerich, Professor of Political Science,Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa Campus, Mexico City 
 
Democracy Building in Latin America and the Caribbean: Can the European Union Contribute?© International Institute or Democracy and Electoral Assistance 2009International IDEA publications are independent o specifc national or political interests. Views expressed in thispublication do not necessarily represent the views o International IDEA, its Board or its Council members.Applications or permission to reproduce or translate all or any part o this publication should be made to:International IDEASE -103 34 StockholmSwedenLayout by: Bulls Graphics
 
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Abstract
In 2009, all the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries with the exception o Cuba have democratically elected governments as well as reasonable levels o civil andpolitical liberties. Teir governments are actively engaged, with varying but usually modest degrees o success, in promoting economic development, providing socialwelare and reducing poverty. Multilateral regional institutions also have a strongcommitment to democracy. However, democracy is still weak in many Latin Americannations. Tis paper examines how European Union (EU) democracy promotionactivities are perceived by LAC peoples and governments; how the EU could help toimprove democracy in a region that, in spite o its many problems, is already mostly democratic; and on which sectors and countries the EU should ocus its eorts.
Summary o Recommendations
At the region-to-region level, the EU could work with the Organization o AmericanStates (OAS), the oldest and most consolidated multilateral Pan-American organizationwhich is ocially devoted to democracy promotion. However, at the country-to-country level, the LAC-EU Strategic Partnership could become a wider orum ordiscussing and implementing democracy promotion. On issues relevant mainly tothe Latin American countries, it might be convenient or the EU to make use o itsinstitutionalized dialogue with the Rio Group. Given the wide array o existing policy instruments at the disposal o the EU, the best option could be to make coordinated useo these or democracy promotion.Since the Caribbean countries are nowadays doing quite well in democratic terms,a reasonable option would be to ocus primarily on the Latin American countries.Countries with high levels o domestic political conict would benet rom eortsto mediate in those conicts, as well as rom electoral observation as a means o guaranteeing ree and air elections. Other countries could benet rom aid to: draw uptheir voters’ registration and identication systems; strengthen their legislative branchesand electoral bodies; pass and enorce transparency legislation; implement career civil
Democracy Buildingin Latin Americaand the Caribbean:Can the EuropeanUnion Contribute?

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