Legal Drafting Expert – Pakistan (m/f/d)

Form of Employment: Part-time

Starting Date: December 2020

Duration: Up to 20 working days over a period of 3 months

Location: Karachi        


Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organisation registered in Berlin. DRI promotes political participation of citizens, accountability of state bodies, and the development of democratic institutions worldwide.

DRI is currently recruiting a Legal Drafting Expert for its Country Office in Pakistan. In collaboration with, and under the supervision of the Project Manager/Democratic Governance Expert and in consultation with the relevant department/s of the government of Sindh, the expert will draft Rules to facilitate the implementation of the Sindh COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act 2020 passed by the Provincial Assembly in June 2020.

Your Tasks:

  • Review the Sindh COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act 2020 and draft rules and regulations required for carrying out the purpose of the Act
  • Conduct consultations with relevant officials of the Sindh government prior to the drafting of the rules
  • Work closely with DRI Provincial Team and officials of the relevant department/s and draft Rules in consultation with them
  • If required, conduct briefings and provide technical advice to relevant officials for effective implementation of the Act
  • Shall prepare the first draft of the Rules by end of January 2020
  • Other relevant duties, as required

Your Skills and Experience:


  • University degree in Law or equivalent; Masters preferred
  • In-depth knowledge of the political context of the country, particularly Sindh
  • Demonstrated experience in engaging/working with Government department/or other public institutions
  • Demonstrated understanding and expertise in drafting laws and rules
  • Excellent understanding of the COVID-19 and related issues
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills and ability to work as part of a culturally diverse team
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Urdu
  • Report writing skills

How to Apply:

If you are interested in this position, please send your application (cover letter and CV) to [email protected]. Please include “Legal Drafting Expert” in the subject line and refer to the source where you have found this opportunity. This position is subject to funding. Applying for this position by post mail is possible, please find our address details below.

Closing date for applications: 11 December 2020. The position may be filled before the deadline has been reached, so early applications are encouraged.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview. If you are one of those shortlisted, we will contact you within one week after the expiration of the deadline.

DRI is committed to diversity and does not discriminate in employment based upon gender (including pregnancy), race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability, socio-economic status, or any other status protected by the laws in the locations where we operate.

Organisation responsible for this vacancy:

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH

Elbestr. 28 / 29

12045 Berlin, Germany

Tel +49 30 27877300

Fax +49 30 27877300-10

Data processing of personal data in third countries will not take place. We process your data in accordance with the provisions of § 26 German Federal Data Protection Act. More information about processing your personal data: privacy policy.

Evaluating local democracy in Tunisia

Democracy Reporting International recently completed an effort to evaluate the state of local democracy in the Tunisian communities of Ariana and El Hencha. The results of this work, brought together in two reports, were presented to four national institutions, including the Ministry of Local Affairs and the Environment, along with recommendations for how the central government can help improve local democracy, the regulatory framework and further decentralisation efforts.

Meeting with the Executive Director of the Decentralisation Support and Training Centre, Mr Ridha Saadi, on 28 October 2020.

As part of our efforts to strengthen links between civil society and the local governments of these two communities, DRI Tunisia organised workshops on 21 and 27 October 2020.

Workshop in El Hencha on 21 October 2020, led by DRI’s Aly Mhenni

The workshop held in El Hencha led to the adoption of a key recommendation to reinforce political participation through better cooperation between local government and civil society as part of a joint working group that will also include youth participants.

Workshop in Ariana on 27 October, led by DRI’s Emna Mouelhi

The workshop held in Ariana also recommended closer cooperation between the municipality and civil society. Concretely, the municipality committed to working with a local NGO to raise awareness of people’s right to access information and with private enterprises to improve access to parking in the municipality.

Together, these three advocacy efforts helped put local players at the centre of decentralisation and political participation efforts. This is part of the process of handing over ownership of the local democracy assessment to those best placed to move these measures forward through concrete measures and the creation of a favourable environment and help build the realisation of local development through sustainable efforts.

This work was part of DRI Tunisia’s project “Support to Constitution Implementation in Tunisia – Phase III”, which is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

We answer your questions ahead of Myanmar’s elections

We talk with DRI’s Country Representative in Myanmar, Eva Gil, ahead of this weekend’s elections in the country.

What is DRI Myanmar working on for the election?

DRI supports non-partisan domestic election observers, a specialised type of civil society organisation that monitors the election process to increase voters’ trust and issues reports with recommendations for improvements.

Here in Myanmar, we work with the support of the European Union and also to follow-up on the EU’s Election Observation Mission recommendations, promoting broad-based dialogue and awareness to improve Myanmar’s electoral framework. 

We are also keeping a closer eye on the situation in Yangon. We have prepared an overview of the top 15 townships to watch ahead of the vote during the election.

What are the greatest challenges during these elections?

Myanmar’s 2015 elections were held in a positive spirit and were seen as a chance for a fresh start that would remove stalwarts of the old regime from the government. The voter turnout was high, as were the expectations for a government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Now there is increasing disappointment with the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) leadership and the 2020 elections are held in a climate of discontent. 

The political landscape has changed since 2015, with new national parties emerging – often these are spin-offs from the major government and opposition parties. New ethnicity-based political parties were founded, as the multiple small parties in Myanmar’s ethnic states merged to form a united front against the ruling party. There is a climate of antagonism particularly between supporters of the USDP, the successor party of the military regime, and the NLD. In some areas, unfortunately, we have seen more violent clashes between supporters of the two parties during this election campaign than during previous elections.

A big risk for the democratisation process is voter disenfranchisement, which particularly affects candidates and voters in areas with large ethnic minorities. Myanmar has highly restrictive citizenship criteria and many local and international actors, including the UNHRC Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, have recommended that the 1982 Citizenship Law should be reviewed. In addition, not only must candidates be citizens, but their parents must both be citizens (at the time of the candidate’s birth) to stand for election. The authorities have put more emphasis on the scrutiny of particular groups of candidates – resulting not only in Rohingyas but also other Muslim candidates being disqualified for this election.

These problems already existed in 2015 and a lot of work was done by domestic election observers and human rights defenders to raise this issue and put electoral reforms on the agenda. However, the government appears to have lacked the political will to strengthen civil and political rights while prioritising foreign investment or “economic development” and, to some extent, peace negotiations. It is important to continue supporting and pushing democratic and human rights reforms, as issues such as citizenship law or electoral laws are make-or-break matters that compromise the legitimacy of the political system as a whole.

If these issues were not enough, the covid-19 pandemic also represents an enormous challenge to the electoral process. Many parts of the country are under lockdowns or stay-at-home orders, which considerably limits voters’ and candidates’ freedom of movement. Unfortunately, the authorities did not consult the Union Election Commission (UEC), Myanmar’s election commission, and many precautionary health provisions came at very short notice. For example, the regulations on how to hold campaigns while respecting public health guidelines and “social distancing” came only one day before the start of the official campaign period. This caused a lot of challenges to parties and candidates who had to be creative and adapt to those restrictions at the last minute. 

Some of our partners and the media also report that the major parties, both the USDP and the NLD, have held mass rallies throughout the country despite UEC and public health requirements. This, again, can result in smaller, ethnicity-based political parties feeling alienated and unfairly treated in the electoral process. 

Was there increased online campaigning on Facebook due to covid-19? 

Of course, compared to previous elections, there was increased online campaign activity, which added to the challenges faced by candidates and parties. Facebook has made important efforts to improve its services in Myanmar, holding regular meetings with civil society and election stakeholders (the UEC, political parties, and the media) to better understand the country and more effectively moderate content. 

The specific problem in Myanmar is that candidates are using their personal Facebook accounts to campaign, rather than Facebook pages, which makes monitoring more difficult. Based on our research and that of our partners, we saw that nationalism was a dominant topic during the campaign along with the discrimination of ethnic or religious groups. 

At the same time, Facebook was used as a platform by many of those political parties that did not agree to air an abridged version of their campaign speeches on public broadcasters. All registered parties obtain free space to broadcast their manifestoes through public television, subject to prior review by the UEC. Unfortunately, the UEC applied a very wide interpretation of their powers to review the campaign speeches and many, mostly smaller or ethnicity-based political parties, disagreed to what they considered censorship and decided to stream their speeches on Facebook instead.

Interestingly, Tik Tok played an important role for youth: in particular followers of both the NLD and USDP uploaded thousands of videos to campaign for their party, achieving over 3 million views. If you consider that in Myanmar there are 4 million first time-voters, this is a high figure! Unfortunately, we also found some videos portraying clashes and violence among opposing party followers, as well as disinformation and content discriminating minorities. 

How about women’s participation?

Women’s participation in politics is very low in Myanmar – in 2015, 13% of candidates were women and, while better, this time the increase was only to 16%. On a positive note, while in 2015 the NLD fielded almost all the female candidates, many more parties are putting forward women candidates this time around and a few parties – particularly ethnicity-based parties – fielded about 30% women, a move that civil society was advocating for. 

Several constituencies will not be able to vote this weekend. What does this mean for the overall process?

I already pointed to disenfranchisement as one of the biggest challenges in general. In late October, the UEC announced that the elections would not take place in some areas, in many cases to the dissatisfaction of political parties and voters who felt that the decision was taken in an opaque and unfair manner. 

Of course, as a general rule cancelling a vote is an extreme measure that should only be implemented under very specific circumstances and, in that case, votes should rather be postponed than cancelled. The problem in Myanmar is that there are no clear criteria to determine where the vote would be cancelled or postponed, as the laws give the UEC very broad powers to cancel elections “where the situation does not permit”. There appears to be a lot of back and forth lately between the UEC, the government and the military about the number of constituencies where voting was cancelled and who is to blame. This could all have been avoided if there had been clear and objective criteria in the law that guide the UEC, along with written and public documentation of its decisions. 

When it comes to the right to participate in elections, the partial cancellations are a total restriction of voter rights: the election goes ahead and voters in some wards and villages are excluded, although the winning candidate for that area will still represent all voters in that constituency.

If the whole election in a constituency is cancelled, it actually means that it is postponed as voters might at least have the chance to vote at a later stage (probably within a year, through by-elections). The postponements might still have political implications, though, in particular at the state and regional level where the margins are smaller. 

Again, disenfranchisement is a huge problem in Myanmar and it has many dimensions. But when it comes to cancellations, for example, a solution such as agreeing on clear legal criteria in a broad consensus would avoid political problems and allegations of bias in the future. In other words, by failing to reform problems within the election framework, the credibility of the process is weakened. This is not only contributing to disenfranchisement but also affecting the credibility of the democratic institutions as such. We hope that the next government will take these up and involve all stakeholders in making the laws clearer and more specific so that election processes in future will be more inclusive, transparent and credible. 

What role are domestic election observers playing in the process? Will they be able to provide a truthful picture of the reality on the ground, given the covid-19 restrictions?

As Myanmar’s airports are still closed to all commercial air traffic, foreign journalists will not be able to enter the country and the international press will hardly cover these elections. The same applies to international observation missions: the EU has decided to send an Election Expert Mission, which does not include a big number of observers. Both the Carter Center and ANFREL were only able to deploy a limited number of locally established international observers. 

In this context, the pressure on domestic observers is huge and they suffered a lot of challenges as a consequence of the covid-19 restrictions. For example, observer organisations had trouble recruiting volunteers because potential candidates were afraid of coming into contact with the virus in overcrowded polling stations and travel between townships is restricted. 

We supported CSOs in adapting their methodology to these challenges and they will still have evidence and data to prepare their analysis and recommendations. Of course, we must manage expectations of what can be done under these special circumstances.

What is next for DRI Myanmar?

We hope that the discontent with this election, in particular with the election management body, will help us raise electoral reforms on the political agenda. Of course, the winners of any election will have little incentive to change a system that benefits them, but electoral reforms mean much more than electoral system change! 

I want to highlight that the grey areas and inconsistencies that we had already pointed out in 2015 have created big political problems in 2020. The next government and legislature should prioritise electoral reform and generate a broad debate – including with minority and ethnicity-based parties – to reform the democratic “rules of the game” so that everyone feels treated fairly. 

We also see this as an essential part of the peacebuilding process. You cannot build a new union if conflict actors, armed ethnic groups and ethnicity-based political parties do not agree to how elections, the very essence of democratic practice, are carried out.

Find out more about DRI Myanmar’s work here, or reach out to us at [email protected] with your questions.

This was prepared under the European Union (EU) funded project ‘Support to Electoral Processes and Democracy – STEP II Democracy’ –  which supports inclusive, peaceful and credible electoral processes, and enhances the capacity of stakeholders to strengthen the democratic transition in Myanmar.  

Photo credit: United Nations Photo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

What can the OSCE do in Belarus?

Many politicians and commentators have called for the involvement of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Belarus. The OSCE is a security body which includes 57 participating states, including Belarus, all EU member states, the US and Canada, as well as Russia. It has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. Andrew Bruce (DRI co-founder) and Michael Meyer-Resende (executive director), who both worked at the OSCE in the past, list what the organization could do.

Download the English PDF version of this briefing here, the Belarusian version here and the Russian version here.

1. A visit by the OSCE Chairmanship to Belarus. The current OSCE chairmanship, Albania, has already offered this option, together with the 2021 chairmanship (Sweden). Practically, this would be a visit by the foreign ministers of the two countries (Edi Rama of Albania, who serves as foreign minister and prime minister, and Ann Linde of Sweden). Such a visit would be political. It would be a first step and not in itself represent a mediation attempt or something similar. They would report back to all 57 OSCE participating States and may also make a public statement. If the invitation is taken up by the Belarus authorities, they would try to talk to all sides, while observing diplomatic protocol.

2. The two chairmanships[1] could offer to return for more visits to discuss a way forward, but the standard practice would be for the current chairmanship to appoint a special representative (or special envoy, or some other title) with a mandate to meet with the government and other players and identify steps to resolve the crisis. They could also try to obtain a request from the government to receive a fact-finding mission/needs-assessment mission/expert mission with a defined mandate.

3. The Special Representative of the Chair-in-Office could propose a range of interventions, including a roundtable, or national dialogue between representatives from the Belarusian government, the civil society and the political opposition (Coordination Council). Although not standard practice for the OSCE, this would be within its conflict prevention mandate.[2] In line with past practices, a Special Representative would be likely to seek agreement for the conduct of new elections, which would presumably include the establishment of a broad-based election management body which enjoys public confidence to create the conditions for democratic elections. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) could then advise such a body on reform of the legal and regulatory framework and, subsequently, observe the new elections.[3] At any stage in the process, ODIHR could also be requested to deploy either a human rights mission or a mission to monitor trials of those involved in the protests. ODIHR has monitored many elections in Belarus and, in 2011, also monitored trials. On 19 August, it expressed alarm about the increasing threats to human rights, following the presidential election.

4. The OSCE can open a field mission/country office with a mandate of conflict prevention/monitoring political and human rights situation. However, the Belarus authorities worked hard to close two previous Belarus field missions (OSCE Office in Minsk, which operated from 2003 to 2011, and OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group, which operated from 1998 to 2002) and it is unlikely it will agree to this (also all OSCE participating States would have to agree).

5. The OSCE can also initiate the “Moscow mechanism”, whereby an OSCE participating State with the support of nine others can insist on the establishment of an official fact-finding mission to investigate the situation in a participating State if it is concerned that there are serious human rights problems. If the state concerned refuses entry to the mission, it can work from abroad (as already happened with the Belarus mission of Emmanuel Decaux in 2011). The Moscow mechanism is a political instrument which can be time-consuming to initiate and implement.

6. The OSCE comprises 57 participation States. Major decisions are made by unanimity, but the chair-in-office and its institutions, including ODIHR, have some margin of manoeuvre in offering assistance to participating States, but at the invitation of the state concerned.

Conclusion: The OSCE can do a number of useful things and could be one element in a strategy to avoid violent conflict and bring democracy to Belarus. It could become particularly relevant if the government (and Russia) decided to enter into some form of negotiation within an international framework.  

[1] The chairmanship could also work in Troika format, also involving Slovakia, the OSCE’s chairmanship of 2019.

[2] High-level mediation by the OSCE typically takes place in conflicts in which several participating States are involved. The OSCE has also supported mediation in domestic contexts, but usually on specific localised conflicts (for example in Southern Serbia or Srebenica/Bosnia-Hercegovina).

[3] In a few cases, the OSCE has itself organised elections (in OSCE parlance this is called “election supervision”), but this is not a likely option for Belarus as it requires a wide presence and a wide-ranging mandate. The OSCE supervised elections in this sense in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Kosovo. Where the OSCE supervises elections, it does not observe them, as it would represent a conflict of interest.

This briefing was put together by Democracy Reporting International (contact: [email protected]) in conjunction with the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), 25 August 2020.

Photo credit: Alex Hammond / FCO

Trainer for design of online events (m/f/d)

Terms of Reference 

Download all documents here.

1.     Objectives

DRI is searching a trainer to provide a training for our staff members in headquarter (HQ) and country offices (COs) to help us better plan and design our online events (roundtables, high-level panels, facilitated discussions, conferences, working groups and small expert discussions).

2.     Background

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organisation registered in Berlin. DRI promotes political participation of citizens, accountability of state bodies, and the development of democratic institutions worldwide. The headquarter of DRI is in Berlin with seven country offices in Pakistan, Myanmar, Libya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Ukraine.

DRI strives to provide relevant and timely analysis on democracy developments and works with stakeholders in many countries to improve the democratic process. It conducts trainings and events on different issues such as the rule of law, election observation, human rights issues social media monitoring and regularly holds face-to-face events.

Events types include roundtables, webinars, high-level panels, facilitated discussions, conferences, working groups and small expert discussions. The current covid-19 pandemic has forced DRI to hold many of these face-to-face events online. DRI would therefore like to increase the professionalism of online events within the organisation to ensure quality delivery of events and trainings and professional moderation and facilitation of online events.

DRI currently uses Zoom (Pro and Webinar), Webex (Plus) and gotomeeting (Professional) as online event tools.

3.     Content of the training

Training for around 50 staff members in HQ and COs to help us plan and design our own online events with a number of approx. 10 participants to approx. 500 participants at large conferences. The training should include the following content/answers the following questions:

  • What are the differences between planning offline and online events?
  • What online event formats are suitable for the work of DRI
  • What are the (dis-)advantages of publicly streaming or making available such events? What needs to be ensured in such cases?
  • Basics of online moderation techniques
  • How to design an interesting online event/online discussion/webinar?
  • How to motivate our target group to participate and discuss online? Techniques of moderation and facilitation online. Which tools can be used remotely (e.g. Online voting, virtual flip chart…)? How to facilitate group work? How to work interactively in small groups?
  • What to consider on the technical side and the visual set-up?

What else needs to be considered when organising online events (preparation – organisation – implementation – follow-up – evaluation).

  • Security: How to prevent “Zoombombing” or other unwanted interruptions? How to react if such an attack happens during an event?
  • Privacy: What is the best practice during calls in order to protect the privacy of participants?

4.     Deliverables

  • Online training for approx. 50 employees in HQ and COs. The training must also be made available for colleagues who were unable to attend the offered appointment or for future colleagues (e.g. via recording). To finalize the planning of the training, a conversation with DRI and the trainer will take place after the contract is signed. The trainer should also be available for questions after the training has ended.
  • Creation of participation certificates
  • Review and, if necessary, further development of existing checklists for the adequate organisation of online events (existing checklists are provided in advance of the training)
  • Advice on different technical tools for online trainings, including video conferencing tools, online equivalents of flipcharts and whiteboards as well as tools for group work and small group discussions.

5.     Time Schedule

The training should be completed by the end of September 2020. Offers should be submitted by 26th August. Please send all the necessary information to [email protected].

6.     Qualifications of the trainer

  • Experience in facilitation of trainings and training techniques;
  • Examples of having facilitated and developed online trainings and events;
  • Experience with remote work, leadership, trainings;
  • Development and facilitation of training of trainers;
  • Knowledge of online tools and how to use them;
  • Innovative thinker;
  • Recent experience in successfully performing similar services, preferably with international governmental or non-profit organisations;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

7.     Information requested from bidders


  • Name, address, email, phone
  • Years in business/years of experience;
  • Proven experience and track record of similar trainings
  • Experience with governments, international organisations or civil society groups;
  • Demonstrated familiarity with similar trainings;
  • References that include the names, contact names, phone numbers, and addresses of organisations with whom the respondent has previously contracted to provide similar services.
  • Existing certifications

Project proposal

The offer should contain a project proposal which should include the following:

  • The bidder should submit a project proposal for the training, in accordance with the outlined number of participants, content, deliverables and time schedule. The project proposal is also intended to provide information as to whether the training should be held in different subject areas or over several days, for example.
  • Describe how the training is made available to colleagues who were unable to participate or to new colleagues. How can it be ensured that these colleagues have completed the training?

Financial proposal

The bidder should fill out the financial proposal form.





DRI Unveils New Digital Democracy Toolkit!

Recent elections and events have exposed the risks of disinformation and manipulation of the democratic discourse on social media. However, there is still too little evidence that demonstrates how disinformation, hate speech, bots and others influence the online debate.

Meanwhile, the tools to monitor social media are oftentimes not easily accessible for civil society and other interested groups. To fill this gap, DRI has developed a Digital Democracy Monitor Toolkit, which makes all the necessary resources available in one place.

The Digital Democracy Monitor toolkit is designed for civil society, journalists, researchers and anyone trying to learn more about social media and democracy.

Get started on your own monitoring today and find out:

  • Why you should monitor social media
  • How to get started in your own context
  • How to assemble your own online disinformation risk assessment
  • How to build your own methodology
  • How you can access data
  • How to make an impact

Click on the image to start exploring!

The Digital Democracy Monitor toolkit is part of a project funded by NEF-Civitates with contributions from MEMO 98

Watch now: Poland’s presidential elections and the rule of law

Poles will be voting for a new president on Sunday, 12 July. Incumbent president Andrzej Duda will face off against Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski in the election’s second round. Originally planned for May, the election was postponed because of the covid-19 pandemic and political manoeuvring.

What is at stake?

President Duda has been a steadfast supporter of the government’s transformation of Poland’s judiciary. The election of an opposition candidate as president would have fundamental implications for the rule of law in the EU. We held a webinar on 8 July 2020 to discuss these issues in depth.

Watch the webinar here

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Barbara Grabowska-Moroz

Research Fellow, University of Groningen, 

Jakub Jaraczewski
Legal Officer, 
Democracy Reporting International

Moderated by Hans Felber-Charbonneau
Communications Coordinator, Democracy Reporting International

Social Media Monitoring Consultancy

Project Title: Strengthening Libyan Civil Society Engagement on the Constitution and Political Transition

Location: Home-based

Duration: Two months

Starting date: 10 November 2019

End date: 10 January 2020


The Strengthening Libyan Civil Society Engagement on the Constitution and Political Transition project is funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by Democracy Reporting International. It aims to contribute to Libya’s political transition into a democratic state. While this is a long-term goal, which will most likely not be achieved during the span of the one-year project, the project interventions seek to increase awareness and understanding of the Libyan public on the political transition, particularly the constitution and elections, and to create opportunities for citizens to engage on issues pertaining to the transitional process.

The social media monitoring component of DRI’s Project has sought to identify key trends on the Libyan social media platforms and provide data and evidence-based insights on public discourse and behavior of social media networks and users in Libya and their implication on the offline political environment. For the last two reports, DRI is looking for a consultant, individual or a company, to undertake extraction and analysis of relevant data sets as instructed by DRI.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Prepare, code, and extract relevant data from monitoring the Libyan social media landscape to answer specific research questions to be agreed upon with DRI.
  • Prepare an efficient system for hand-annotation of data.
  • Produce data visualization to showcase dominant trends and their change over the reporting period.
  • Identify most prominent instances of widespread misinformation and disinformation about key themes agreed upon with DRI.
  • Scan for and analyze dominant narratives about the Libyan political and security landscape, identifying who shapes those narratives, how they are disseminated on which social media platform.
  • Draft a report containing key findings and insights about the Libyan social media landscape.
  • Analyze the key features of the Libyan social media realm based on DRI’s SMM activities over the past 9 months and identify lessons learnt.
  • Make recommendations regarding social media policy and practice and ways to operationalize the findings of DRI’s SMM activities


  • A report covering July, August, September and October 2019 containing overview of the findings, detailed analysis of trend and narratives and visualization of the relative data.
  • Sheets of raw and coded data on which basis the analysis was conducted.
  • A second report analyzing 9 months of DRI’s SMM work with lessons learnt and recommendations to improve policy and practice as well as to operationalize the findings within the context of Libya.


For individual applicants:

  • Relevant university degree
  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience in social media monitoring and/or strategic communications
  • Background in politics, public policy, journalism or other related fields required.
  • Understanding of the Libyan context is required
  • Excellent knowledge of Arabic and English languages required.

For corporate applicants:

  • At least 5 years of experience in the field of strategic communications and social media.
  • Previous experience working in Arab countries on social media monitoring related assignments.
  • Internal Arabic and English capabilities. The Reports must be authored in English.
  • Experience in working within the Libyan context.


DRI values diversity and aims to be an equal opportunities employer. Women are encouraged to apply!

If you are interested in this position, please send the following documents to [email protected]

For individuals,

  • Updated CV
  • Technical and Financial Offer (maximum 3 pages)

For corporate applicants

  • Company profile
  • Technical and Financial Office (maximum 3 pages)

Please include “Social Media Monitoring Consultancy – Libya” in the subject line and refer to the source you have found this opportunity.

Closing date for applications: 8 November 2019. The position may be filled before the end of the deadline so early applications are encouraged.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Organisation responsible for this vacancy:

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH

Prinzessinnenstraße 30

10969 Berlin, Germany

Tel +49 30 27877300

Fax +49 30 27877300-10

Data processing of personal data in third countries will not take place. We process your data in accordance with the provisions of § 26 German Federal Data Protection Act. More information about processing your personal data: privacy policy .

Expert(e) national(e) en droit public – Tunisie

Titre de la position :  Expert(e) national(e) en droit public

Type de contrat : Mission de court terme

Date de début du contrat :  Décembre 2019

Durée du contrat : 3 mois (avec un maximum de 10 jours de travail)

Lieu de travail : Tunis


I- Contexte :

Le droit d’accès à l’information a été consacré par la loi organique n°2016-22 du 24 mars 2016, relative au droit d’accès à l’information, constituant ainsi une réelle avancée dans la mise en œuvre de l’article 32 de la Constitution stipulant que « l’État garantit le droit à l’information et le droit d’accès à l’information ». Cette loi organique est venue renforcer le cadre institutionnel à travers l’annonce de la création de l’Instance d’Accès à l’Information (INAI) et la consolidation des garanties pour une meilleure publication proactive de l’information et une meilleure réponse aux demandes d’accès.

Depuis sa mise en place[1] l’Instance a commencé à organiser et à planifier son travail avec l’appui de partenaires internationaux. Plusieurs processus sont en cours, l’objectif étant de se doter de mécanismes et des processus nécessaires au renforcement de sa mission telles que définis par la loi. Aussi, l’INAI vient de publier son plan stratégique qui plaide dans son premier axe stratégique pour une diffusion de la culture d’accès à l’information. Cette dynamique de changement et d’évolution pousse l’INAI à valoriser davantage son rôle juridictionnel et à publier un recueil de ses décisions majeures statuant sur les recours qui lui ont été soumis depuis sa création, et ce afin d’établir les premières bases de la jurisprudence dans la matière du droit d’accès à l’information. Ce recueil contribuera dans l’analyse des questions juridiques que pose la mise en œuvre de la loi d’accès à l’information et s’adressera à plusieurs publics : les praticiens (avocats, magistrats, etc.), les étudiants, les chercheurs en droit, les organisations de la société civile et toute personne intéressée par le droit d’accès à l’information.

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) accompagne l’INAI en apportant le soutien nécessaire à la mise en œuvre de ses missions relatives au droit d’accès à l’information, notamment par la production d’outils et de rapports. C’est dans ce cadre que les services d’un(e) Expert(e) « en droit public » seront nécessaires pour l’élaboration du premier « Recueil des décisions de l’INAI 2018-2019 : analyse du droit d’accès à l’information à la lumière de la jurisprudence de l’INAI».

Ce dernier se subdivisera en deux parties :

  • Une première partie analytique et synthétique qui développera les tendances de la jurisprudence relative au droit d’accès à l’information et mettra la lumière sur les lectures que donnera l’instance à l’ensemble des problèmes soulevés, les solutions données par l’instance et les précisions apportées par des décisions ultérieures que ce soit par l’Instance ou en cas d’appel par le tribunal administratif.
  • Une deuxième partie : qui présentera une sélection des décisions.

II- Description de la publication :

Format de la publication : Recueil des décisions majeurs de l’INAI (Livre A5) ;

  • Structure de la publication :
  1. Préface,
  2. Table des matières ;
  3. Résumé exécutif ;
  4. Partie 1- Analyse, (rubriques thématiques constituant le contenu de la première partie, conclusion) ;
  5. Partie 2- Les décisions ;
  6. Index, mots clés.

Langue initiale de rédaction : Arabe.

Traduction : en langue française.

III- Tâches et responsabilités :

L’« Expert(e)» sera amené(e) à :

  • Développer une note méthodologique qui précisera le contenu du recueil et proposer une ébauche de plan exposant les thématiques et questions qui seront traitées dans le recueil en fonction des décisions choisies par l’INAI ;
  • Après validation de l’ébauche, proposer un premier projet du recueil incluant les différents chapitres selon les thématiques ressorties des décisions ;
  • Participer à distance et/ou assister à des réunions de travail avec l’équipe de DRI et de l’INAI pour discuter du plan du recueil ;
  • Interagir par courriel avec l’équipe de DRI et l’INAI concernant la préparation du recueil ;
  • Procéder aux reformulations convenues du recueil lors des différentes relectures et commentaires proposés, et ce, jusqu’à la validation finale du texte par l’INAI et DRI ;
  • Collaborer en cas de besoin avec le traducteur et/ou l’infographiste proposés en ce qui concerne la forme et la présentation finale du recueil.

IV- Livrables :

L’Expert(e) doit fournir les livrables suivants, en langue arabe :

  • Une ébauche de plan exposant les thématiques et questions qui seront traitées dans le recueil. La date limite de ce livrable est d’une semaine à compter de la signature du contrat.
  • Un premier projet du recueil. : La date limite de ce livrable est le 6 décembre 2019.
  • Une version finale de la publication à la lumière des commentaires et des révisions du premier projet : La date limite de ce livrable est le 31 décembre 2019.

Toute modification opérée par L’Expert(e) dans les documents sur lesquels il/elle aura à travailler doit être signalée en mode « suivi des modification ».

V- Qualifications et compétences :

  • Être titulaire d’un diplôme avancé en droit public.
  • Avoir un minimum de 10 années d’expérience professionnelle confirmée et pertinente en Tunisie notamment en droit public et en droit processuel ;
  • Justifier d’une connaissance approfondie en droit administratif et droit processuel en Tunisie ;
  • Justifier d’une connaissance approfondie des instances indépendantes et/ou du droit d’accès à l’information serait un atout.
  • Avoir contribué à la rédaction de publications (analyses, commentaires, manuels) portant notamment sur le contentieux administratif et le droit processuel ;
  • Très bonnes connaissances orales et écrites de l’arabe et du français.

Veuillez envoyer un Curriculum Vitae et une lettre de motivation (une page au maximum), en indiquant les termes de référence « Expert(e) national (e) en droit public », à l’adresse e-mail suivante : [email protected]

Date de clôture de réception des candidatures : 20 octobre 2019.

Seul(e)s les candidat(e)s retenu(e)s seront contacté(e)s. Seuls les dossiers de candidature complets avec un curriculum vitae (CV) et une lettre de motivation seront examinés.

Il est possible que la position soit pourvue avant la date de clôture. Nous vous encourageons à soumettre votre candidature le plus tôt possible. DRI est un employeur qui valorise la diversité et souscrit au principe de l’égalité d’accès à l’emploi. Les femmes sont encouragées à postuler.

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[1] Le processus de mise en place de l’Instance d’Accès à l’Information (INAI) a été lancé en 2017 à travers l’élection de ses membres par l’Assemblée des Représentants du Peuple en juillet 2017 ainsi que la publication du décret gouvernemental relatif à la nomination de ses membres en Août 2017.

Better late than never: the European Union unveils its new approach to the rule of law

On 17 July the European Commission published its new strategic policy document “Strengthening the rule of law within the Union: A blueprint for action” outlining three major avenues for EU policy on the rule of law: promotion, prevention and response. The introduction of a strategy aimed at preventing the backsliding of the rule of law in the EU and informing citizens on the importance of this issue is most welcome. This strategy clearly defines goals related to the rule of law and introduces tools to achieve these goals. The Commission’s proposed blueprint for action addresses several gaps in existing policy. The fact that this plan was adopted following a consultation process in which Member States, intergovernmental organisations, academia and civil society had the opportunity to present their input will hopefully signal wider buy-in to these measures.

Preventing through regular monitoring

Chief among the proposed tools as a means of prevention is a Rule of Law Review Cycle, aimed at monitoring the rule of law situation in all EU Member States. The cycle is intended as a comprehensive tool, covering different elements of the rule of law, including areas such as judicial independence, separation of powers and fight against corruption, as well as efficiency in the enforcement of EU law in Member States. The proposed mechanism would draw upon a variety of sources, including input from the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, civil society, and Member States to present an overview of the rule of law situation across the Union. The review cycle would be linked to an annual Rule of Law Report. The EU would do well to implement some of the best practices from the United Nations Universal Periodic Review to complement this cycle, including  shadow national reports submitted by civil society, a mutual peer-review system and a follow-up mechanism.

Promoting a rule of law culture

In terms of promotion, the Commission sets out steps to increase knowledge of the rule of law as well as a common EU-wide perception of it. This priority is timely and warranted, as a recent Eurobarometer survey shows that 56% of EU citizens believe that they are under-informed about the EU’s core values. The Commission identifies several partners to reach this goal, including civil society, media, academia, European networks of lawyers and judges, national parliaments and other intergovernmental organisations, including the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. As a next step, the EU could consider adjusting its long-standing and successful area of cooperation with the Council of Europe, namely the Joint Programmes, towards promoting the rule of law and other core EU values within its Member States.

Firmly responding to challenges

The section of the blueprint concerning responses to rule of law backsliding starts with highlighting the importance of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). The court’s role in elaborating the standards of the rule of law is presented as a vital element of the EU’s response mechanism. Indeed, the recent rulings of the court and reactions of Member States indicate that referring cases to the CJEU is an effective avenue to ensure respect for the rule of law. The Commission also proposes several improvements to the Treaty of the European Union’s Article 7 rule of law procedure, but does not devote quite as much attention to this as to the CJEU. This can be interpreted as an acknowledgement by the Commission that the existing Article 7 procedure is no longer viable as a primary response to rule of law backsliding, given the fact that it requires unanimous agreement of all Member States to go into effect. This begs the question whether the Commission is shifting towards bringing Member States before the Court as a primary means of responding to breaches in the rule of law after political dialogue is exhausted. At the same time, the EU would do well not to let the Article 7 procedure fall by the wayside but rather reform and improve it. Reform of the Article 7 procedure could be implemented as part of a broader move away from the need for unanimous agreement towards qualified majorities as part of the EU’s decision-making processes.

What’s next?

The fact that such a salient and detailed document which outlines a comprehensive strategic approach to a policy area was adopted at the very end of the Juncker Commission’s term likely points to the fact that the Commission will continue to focus on the rule of law in its next term. The implementation of this strategy will likely have to wait until the von der Leyen Commission is fully established in Autumn 2019, when the Commission, the Council, the European Parliament, Member States, other EU institutions and interested stakeholders will discuss the new approach and come up with concrete proposals for implementation. Given the situation of the rule of law in several EU Member States, a prompt and throughout implementation of the new approach to the rule of law could well be one of the top priorities for the new Commission.



Democracy Reporting International (DRI) works to improve public understanding of the rule of law in the EU as part of the re:constitution programme funded by Stiftung Mercator. Sign-up to DRI’s newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about the rule of law in Europe.

Gains for access to justice in Tunisia: regional chambers frequented more often

Access to justice is improving in Tunisia: An increasing number of appeals are being filed to the regional chambers of the country’s Administrative Tribunal (AT) and the judgement period set against the central chambers has been shortened. These positive developments were discussed during a meeting of regional chamber representatives from Kairouan, Sousse, Monastir and Sidi Bouzid, organized by the AT and Democracy Reporting International on 9 and 10 July.

More than 120 participants, including magistrates, municipal representatives, lawyers, members of civil society, students and scholars took part in the various working sessions of this workshop on “The Jurisdiction of the Administrative Tribunal in the Local Authorities Code”. The meeting allowed for fruitful discussions on the different responsibilities of the regional chambers as stipulated in the new legal framework for decentralization in Tunisia. The participants also developed recommendations on the way forward.

Statistics and participants’ testimonials confirmed that important progress has been made already.  Several attendees still voiced concern about specific provisions of the Local Authorities Code and the need to revise and clarify them, especially regarding the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. Participants also suggested to expand the advisory competence of the regional chambers, a view that was not shared by some representatives of the AT. DRI will consider offering a second workshop to allow for further reflection on this topic.

DRI supported the workshop in the framework of its project “Support to Democratic Governance in Tunisia”, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Polarised Country and Sacrified Democracy

“It’s them that I have a problem with – how they poured water over the United National Movement’s mill.”

This statement was made by the leader of the ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, during an interview with TV Imedi on 9 April. The state was made about the MPs who left his team, in particular Eka Beselia, Gedi Popkhadze and Levan Gogichaeshvili. These three MPs had been actively opposing the United National Movement (UNM) during their time as the opposition, later while in government, and recently again after leaving Georgian Dream. Their opposition comes even though they share similar opinions with UNM regarding the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, the opinion of UNM and this trio on this particular topic coincide with opinions of many political powers and non-governmental organizations. The government refers to them as the ones “pouring water on UNM’s mill”. Many statements made by Georgian Dream regarding the appointment of judges can be cited to prove the similarities in opinions. The campaign launched against the non-governmental sector is especially interesting because it shows that neutral institutions who are critical of authorities are a supporter of the UNM and an enemy of the ruling party. What people fail to mention is that this is a joint opinion and has nothing to do with supporting the UNM in particular. In reality, the ruling party is on one side and everyone who does not share the Georgian Dream opinions on every issue a-priori unconditionally is on the other. This side is deemed “the enemy” by Georgian Dream.

In this case, it is easiest not to include judiciary reform benefits or disadvantages because it is an entirely separate topic. Instead, there is greater interest in the attitudes of judiciary reforms towards those who disagree with their opinions. The issue of appointing Supreme Court judges can demonstrate the polarisation of Georgian political (and non-political) spaces. Analysis of the polarisation in Georgia can help identity factors contributing to the problem, which can in turn point to a potential solution.

“Those who are not with me are my enemies.”

The popularity of this phrase has been observed in many aspects of everyday Georgian life, from politics to current media to human relations. Regarding academia, there are numerous international research publications and reports that assess the current situation in Georgia as alarming. These reports often find Georgia to be one of the most polarised democracies in Europe: a sentiment that has even been repeated by European Council resolutions. The International organization, Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders), recently published their annual report on global freedom of press. This document recognized the polarisation in Georgia as a significant problem facing press freedom.

Additionally, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and Democracy Reporting International have published a joint report on the country’s extremely polarised environment and ways in which to improve it.

Although polarisation is currently a very acute problem, it is not new to Georgia. Instead, the problem has very deep roots that likely extend back to the Soviet period where anyone with opposing views of the government was considered the ‘enemy’. This was also problematic because there was no free press to discuss differing views openly. After the restoration of Georgian independence, the polarised political situation remained when UNM came to power. A deeply entrenched resentment towards different opinions has led UNM to distrust even their own supporters – a situation that has been taken advantage of by the Russian Federation. Although the political polarisation in Georgia is ultimately a very broad issue, a critical factor is the ruling party’s perception of differing opinions has resulted in significant feelings of animosity. This political divide has also affected societal relations – going so far as to cause divorces amongst married couples.

Radicalized confrontation continued since the Soviet era, and the aforementioned quote has helped even current governments come into power. In October 2011, Ivanishvili was quoted saying “middle should be rooted out” during a political campaign interview with Ia Antadze. The is the idea that a person can only be on one side or another and therefore anyone who is not aligned with the ruling party is a “National” or an enemy.

Even though the problem is not a new one, there has been evidence of its recent escalation. While some analysts argue that over-discussion of the problem makes it seem more pronounced, the issue is indeed older and thus more complicated.

Gia Nodia, a political scientist and professor at Ilia University, pointed out that politics in Georgia have always been polarised, but that the topic was discussed at greater length when the term polarise was introduced. “There was a time when people used to be more apathetic, although, in general, more or less activism results in deepening of the polarisation.” Nodia attributes the lack of public trust in the political elite as the main reason for polarisation.

“Criticism of politicians is generally quite popular, and politicians attempt to gain trust through negativity rather than positive issues. Politicians believe that you should attack the opponent in order to obtain scores. The best competition method is to be the most uncompromising towards your opponent.” Nodia notes.

Polarisation in Georgia

Polarisation is not a phenomenon unique to Georgia. Even the labelling of political systems as “left” and “right” is a consequence of this radicalization. However, in western civilizations, it does not imply that the whole country is confronting itself on every level.

Nowadays, the call for ‘rooting out the middle” goes beyond the confrontation between political parties and affects society in many ways. Thus, when discussing polarisation, a primary question is what causes the formation of the so-called Georgian polarisation phenomenon. Emzar Jgerenaia, a sociologist, explains this phenomenon in relation to the behaviour of society.

“Generally, public thinking is a very complex phenomenon with a lot buried deeply. For instance, today in society you can meet the supporters of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Eduard Shevardnadze, Mikheil Saakashvili and Ivanshvili, but we can only see two opposing sides. The reason for this is that every individual considers their own needs and assesses what benefits each political party can offer them. These individual perspectives is one of the reasons that polarisation is created within the society.” Jgerenaia points out.

Political scientists associate the sociological factors to the lack of alternative ideologies that is commonly featured on polarised political environments.

Bakur Kvashilava, Doctor of Political Sciences and a professor at GIPA, points out that “due to political culture peculiarities, a political party may try to demonstrate that it is the only unconditional portrayer of society and people’s will. Accordingly, it is difficult to find compromises between parties, or even decide which is the opposition, such as a party that represents another segment, another layer of the population or another legitimate point of view because each claim to represent the whole nation.”

He believes that the main problem is not the ruling party, but rather that all the actors agree on the subject and then have nothing unique to tell society.

“If we look at our election campaigns, we see that the parties with their own polls were aware that they could not obtain more than 7-8% of the votes. It was these parties that always promised the electorate they would win the majority of the votes because they believed this was the only message that would ensure them at least 7%. These are the parties that believe society will not accept a party or organization that admits it only represents a small segment of the population or that another party could win more votes. Accordingly, this creates a situation where the other side tries to relate the opponent to the enemy of the country, internal or foreign, to win more votes.” Kvashilava mentions.

This poses the question: why would society accept all of this and allow the political parties to radicalise the situation? According to Kvashilava “the society itself expects such behaviour . . . the society expects the political party to unite the country and confront others cooperatively. Society does not recognize that there may be significant differences, such as between employers and employees, or between the youth and elderly in terms of interests. Society believes that these toast-like promises or programs being implemented can make both pensioners and youth happy. So while everybody promises heaven, society prefers to believe those whom they trust on a personal level.”

Therefore, there is no ideology in the country that the parties can dispute about in a way that would help society make a choice between the parties. The easiest approach is to declare each other as enemies in a way that reflects very aspect of life and society.

“This is alarming because while there is talk about destroying the enemy, there is no ongoing discussion about what is better for country development. Instead, the focus is on who is to blame. We are going through cycles where each new government wants to eliminate all the signs of the previous one. Georgian Dream was unable to achieve this and now supporters are dissatisfied that there was not a more complete destruction of the United National Movement. We are going in circles that is negatively reflected in our development.” Nodia explains.

This overall damages the democratisation process and could be contributing to a prolonged transition process.

A key principle of democracy is that democratic decision making needs the incorporation and debate of the differing ideas or opinions provided by the opposition party. If the ruling party views everybody else as an enemy, a consensus between the government and opposition is not achievable. This has been observed during all significant decision-making processes in Georgia, showcased by formal one-party decisions made by the government.

Another important democratic principle is the conditions and freedoms of media and civil society. In Georgia, it is evident that the media is polarised, pro-government and being pressured to refer to the public sector as an enemy. This hinders the potential power of the two actors, which is a serious problem for democratisation.

These two issues, as noted by Kvashilava, can “cause damage to the democracy, as one party is a considered a destructive force which creates a monopolistic democracy. Democracy is abstractly recognized by all political parties as the best form of governance, however, they also believe that democracy can function without opposition parties. Such democracies do not exist. Rather than focusing on discussion, debate and how to best help the electorate, this system operates on the idea that one party is more honest, more or less Georgian, who is the most trustworthy, and what one party can do better than the other. Therefore, the focus is placed on the heads of parties and the trust that comes from an individual, rather than the rationale of the political agenda. It ignores the feasibility of the offer made to the population in favour of private offers and relationships.”

It is noteworthy that these problems are referred to in aforementioned research that considers polarisation as a “significant hinderance for Georgian democratic consolidation.”

Solution Perspectives

When considering such a significant problem, finding the solution is of paramount importance. However, due to the complexity of the problem, some analysts do not see the way out in any immediate timeframe.

“No leverage has yet been identified. The roots are quite deep in political culture. The way out is for the society to have more trust in political elites; however, the presence of polarisation and confrontation only deepens political distrust and drags itself down,” Nodia points out.

Nodia also believes the solution can be sought in emerging public trust towards political elites. Regarding how to raise this trust, Bakur Kvashilava discusses long- and short-term opportunities:

“One issue that may impact trust in an evolutional way is economic development.  When a large part of the population becomes middle class (recent studies have shown that 75% of the population does not represent the middle class) and the middle class becomes critical (at least 40-45%), then more importance will be given to rational understanding of the programs presented by political parties and politicians, along with personal trust. For instance, nobody will believe that, for instance, the decrease of taxes would cause an increase in social and healthcare expenses. This concept must be sold to a population who does not cling to hope but rather calculates whether or not this offer is rational.” Bakur Kvashilava notes.

Kvashilava refers to emerging financial resources as a comparatively short-term perspective: who will consider funding alternative political parties that will not be successful against one concentrated financial power plus administrative resources? This current situation puts competitors in a bad position to act against the ruling party.

“When the parties are able to grant regular members actual rights along with obligations, then these parties will become more dependent on the population. Eventually this will be successfully presented within the government with fewer financial resources. This will be much easier starting in 2024 with the introduction of proportional representation in the Georgian electoral system.”

According to him, if the opposition choses this route, tactics should be correctly selected. For instance, to depend on more members who pay for membership, they must be aware that they will decide who is within the ruling structure of the party. However, according to Kvashilava, even if done this way, achieving victory will be impossible after the first cycle.

“We will have to wait for several cycles to see a change, unless something unexpected happens such as increased opposition party funding. A significant financial resource for the opposition would have a dramatic impact in Georgia. The majority of parties are conformist and still hope for money, but it is out of their control. Nobody knows if money will be provided or where it would come from. Where the money comes from represents a separate problem because it could be to finance the party that favours the interests of our northern neighbour. The way out of this situation is a medium-term problem as well, but the results will not appear immediately. Announcing “I am the third party” will not make you the third one.” Kvashilava points out.


Rusa Machaidze

This article was submitted in a contest for journalists organised by DRI, GYLA and ForSet as part of the project “Strengthening political pluralism in Georgia – Phase III” part of the German governmental programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”, funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The content of this article is the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of DRI.

*The quotes have been edited in their English translation to preserve meaning and enhance clarity.