With reform ferment in the Arab world, an emerging democracy in Iraq, and the colour-coded democratic revolutions in post-communist societies, a hitherto relatively obscure field of global civic activism has acquired political salience and strategic significance. The US administration’s renewed commitment to democracy promotion as a foreign policy priority has even prompted a degree of healthy transatlantic competition, if not one-upmanship, in proclaiming democratisation credentials. ‘In promoting democracy, the EU is certainly the actor with the best record in the last 10 years,’ insists Nicole Gnesotto, director of the EU Institute for Security Studies.  ‘We’re the people who do regime change,’ claims Robert Cooper, Director General for External Relations at the EU Council. ‘Just look at Turkey or Ukraine,’ he argues.
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