Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2013

Converts to Missionaries: Central and Eastern European Democracy Assistance in the Arab World

Kristina Mikulova, Benedetta Berti

July 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The young democracies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are eager to share lessons from their post-Communist transitions with democratic aspirants. As revolutionary movements swept across the Middle East and North Africa, CEE actors offered their knowledge to help Arab countries, especially Tunisia and Egypt, with their attempted transitions to democracy. But to translate good intentions into real impact, CEE states must move past sharing general transition know-how and distinguish themselves from other aid providers.