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In the transition democracies of Europe, IRI supports the development of multi-party political systems that design, debate and implement policies that improve the quality of life of their citizens.

  • Among political parties, we develop capacity to identify and understand issues of real concern to voters, develop policy alternatives, run effective campaigns and mobilize voters and focus over the long term on the health of internal party institutions.
  • Among governments, we strengthen the ability of elected leaders to communicate policy proposals and include public input into policy and decision making, as well as to manage the complex process of delivering effective democratic governance.
  • Among civil society organizations, we improve skills to advocate for the interests of important societal groups, to provide policy alternatives when governments and parties fail to do so and to hold decision makers accountable between election cycles.

We also work closely with partners in the democratic countries of Europe and in the institutions of the European Union to build support for and cooperation on democracy assistance efforts around the globe.

As all the countries in the region are either new or potential future member states of the European Union, our programming is founded upon a number of key pillars that help them grow into the demands of membership.

  • Internal Party Foundations and Institutes: Our European Political Party Foundations and Institutes effort builds these “policy shops” among partner parties.
  • Organizations for Women and Youth: By helping women and youth develop institutions to represent their interests, our Leadership Institute for Central and Eastern Europe and Young Women’s Leadership Academy broaden the engagement of these two important groups.
  • Networking among Europe’s Party Families: Our European Partnership Initiative works with European Union partners to solidify gains in democratic development in new member states and to expand Europe’s assistance elsewhere.
  • Public Opinion Research: We undertake research in countries across the region to enable political and civil-society leaders to balance playing fields and respond effectively to citizen demand.

In 2016, we launched a new program aimed at countering the increasing threat of Russian soft power and propaganda. The Beacon Project maximize's our long-held European partnerships with political parties, think tanks, activists and media organizations to inform European leaders about the destabilizing efforts of the Russian Federation’s misinformation campaign across the continent.