The Community of Democracies (CD) is an intergovernmental coalition of democratic countries established in 2000 to strengthen and deepen democratic norms and practices worldwide. The United States plays a leading role in the Community’s multilateral initiatives to support civil society and emerging democracies: The Democracy Partnership Challenge and the LEND Network. The Democracy Partnership Challenge leverages resources and expertise of countries within the CD to address priorities identified by countries that are in the midst of promising transitions. Tunisia and Moldova were selected as the first two countries to participate in the initiative. The LEND Network (for Leaders Engaged in New Democracies) will leverage expertise from the Club de Madrid, the world’s largest forum of democratically elected former presidents and prime ministers, and 21st century technologies developed by Google and OpenText to connect leaders who have successfully navigated the challenges of democratization with leaders in emerging democracies. The United States co-chairs the Democracy Partnership Challenge Moldova Task Force with Poland and co-chairs the LEND Network working group with Estonia.
The CD is led by a rotating Presidency, which is directed by the Governing Council, the main decision making body of the CD. It is supported by an Executive Committee and a Permanent Secretariat, The work of the CD is carried out through Working Groups chaired by members of the Governing Council. The CD also works in close collaboration with civil society organizations and provides a forum for likeminded governments to meet with civil society for the purpose of supporting democracy.
As a member of the Governing Council, the U.S., along with a growing body of democratic nations that are committed to the Community of Democracies, meet quarterly to discuss activities of the CD. Meetings are held in Warsaw, Poland; Washington D.C, USA; Geneva, Switzerland; and in the capital of the current Presidency.
The U.S. was appointed to the first term (2011-2013) of the Executive Committee, which supports the CD Presidency in performing its responsibilities by making recommendations regarding the activities of the CD. The EC consists of representatives of the Troika (the Presidency, the previous Presidency, and the next Presidency), the host country of the Permanent Secretariat and four other countries representing four continents.