Inclusive political processes
Although there is significant variation between countries, levels of political freedom, openness and accountability in the Europe and Central Asia region are a challenge. The region has seen improvement, and this positive trend is expected to continue with extensive reforms processes underway in countries such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
For many countries in the region, the political and regulatory environment for civil society remains difficult, and in several countries is becoming increasingly hostile. In contrast, mass protests in Kosovo*, Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova have demonstrated space for civic engagement by organizations and groups representing a clear demand for change. Despite generally high levels of education and employment levels of women, across the region they continue to be denied access to positions of power and/or leadership, through both active and passive discrimination.
Establishing stronger and more inclusive political processes leads to increased participation and political influence of citizens, more accountable governments and institutions, and stronger, more inclusive societies.
Given how diverse the countries of the Europe and Central Asia region are, UNDP adapts its approach depending on local needs and conditions. Our work includes:
- Expanding and protecting spaces for citizen participation in political and public life, with a special focus on discriminated and marginalized groups;
- Building the capacities of national parliaments and local assemblies, their Members and Secretariats to successfully carry out their constitutional, law-making, oversight and representation mandates;
- Strengthening civil society capacities and skills to act as intermediaries in political advocacy, representation and engagement in political processes;
- Advocating for and facilitating the involvement of women in political processes, from electoral processes to decision-making positions.
*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).