February 18, 2014

Democracy assistance in times of tight budgets and regional turmoil 

EU & US approaches towards Jordan and the region



                                   February 18,  2004                                                                  Center for Strategic Studies                                                       



The political turmoil in the Arab World and the ongoing budget and debt crises in the West have posed great challenges for foreign aid and democracy support in the region. Against this background, the round table will take a closer look at EU and US funding for democracy promotion and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. The discussions will be based on the joint POMED/ hbs report on the US foreign assistance budget in the fiscal year 2014 for the Middle East. The report discusses how the Obama administration has recalibrated its focus on the broader Middle East as a result of the Arab Spring. Joining POMEDís Executive Director Steven McInerney on the panel will be a range of Jordanian and European experts on democracy assistance, human rights, and governance. 


The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to examining how genuine democracies can develop in the Middle East and how the U.S. can best support that process.  Through dialogue, research, and advocacy, POMED aims to strengthen the constituency for U.S. policies that peacefully support democratic reform in the Middle East.


The Program 

09.45 A.M.                  Registration

-          Proceedings will take place in English and Arabic, with simultaneous translation provided


10.00                           Welcoming Remarks

-          Musa Shteiwi, Center for Strategic Studies

-          Renť Wildangel, hbs Palestine and Jordan



10.15-11.30                 Panel 1: U.S. and EU assistance to support democracy and good governance in Jordan        (working title)

-          Questions to consider:

o   What are the current levels and tools of US and European funding to support Jordan in strengthening democracy and good governance?

o   How does the regional turmoil, and especially the crisis in Syria, affect democracy support to Jordan?

o   How do funding levels compare to last year, and what can we expect Jordanís assistance package to look like moving forward? 

o   How is Western democracy assistance perceived by Jordanians and what are the main points of criticism (in terms of politicization of aid, impact, recipients)?


-          Potential speakers/moderators:

o   Stephen McInerney, POMED

o   Musa Shteiwi, Center for Strategic Studies

o   Jaromir Levicek, Human Rights Focal Point, EU Delegation to Jordan (tbc)

o   Oraib Al-Rantawi, Al Quds Center for Political Studies

o   Moderator: Renť Wildangel, hbs Palestine and Jordan


11.30- 11.45 Coffee Break


11.45-13.00                 Panel 2: Regional outlook- US and EU democracy assistance in times of regional turmoil              (working title)

-          Questions to consider:

o   How do the US and the EU differ in their approach and vision for democracy promotion in the MENA region?

o   What do their respective funding decisions tell us about their priorities and responses to the political transitions in the Middle East?

o   How does the political situation in Syria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia affect US and EU democracy support?

o   What might we expect from US and EU funding in the near future? 

o   How does this impact Arab perceptions of US and European assistance?


-          Potential speakers/moderators:

o   Stephen McInerney, POMED

o   Mouin Rabbani, independent journalist/analyst

o   Kristina Kausch, Senior Researcher and Head of The Middle East Programme at FRIDE

o   Niti Shehu, Senior Country Director Jordan, National Democratic Institute (tbc)

o   Moderator: Charlotte Beck, hbs North America