2019 European Endowment for Democracy Annual Report presented to the European Parliament
July 20, 2020
The European Endowment for Democracy’s (EED’s) Executive Director Jerzy Pomianowski presented the EED Annual Report to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, a committee of the European Parliament, on 13 July.
Pomianowski stated that the EED continues to work closely with democracy activists during the Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that the EED Executive approved over 150 grants to the value of €11 million since the outset of the pandemic, significantly higher than during the same period last year.
He listed the challenges faced by independent media throughout the European neighbourhood during this crisis. While audiences are increasing and there is a thirst for credible news, revenues have dried up and EED is playing a key role assisting many independent media survive during these difficult times.
He outlined the important role played by civil society during this period, ensuring accountability from governments in their management of the Covid-19 crisis and fact-checking official statistics, launching new community initiatives to assist medical institutions and the vulnerable and carefully monitoring attempts to further shrink civil space. He also drew attention to the gender dimension of the crisis, noting the increase in cases of domestic abuse in many countries.