Support to democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union has been a defining element of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) work since the early 1990s. Through the “Regional Election Administration and Political Process Strengthening” (REAPPS) program, IFES provides assistance to electoral stakeholders across Europe by empowering them through capacity-building efforts and experience-sharing opportunities. These activities are designed to combat threats such as government corruption and malign influence that destabilize the political process and undermine public confidence in democracy.
REAPPS I (2013-18) was designed to address common electoral and civic participation challenges among Central and Eastern European and Eurasian societies. These included defining the role of government, fostering political pluralism, stimulating civic participation and directing internal conflict through political institutions to produce democratic outcomes to the challenges faced by transitioning democracies within Europe and Eurasia.
REAPPS II (2018-23) builds on these efforts to develop and strengthen democratic leadership skills among politically active young people from election administration and civil society. The program also works to increase government oversight, political participation and institutional and public resilience to anti-democratic foreign influences. The overall goal of this regional project is to promote cross-border learning and networking on a wide range of existing initiatives and build new capacity in political participation, government transparency and election administration.
The program’s geographic scope encompasses the Balkans region, Central Europe including the Baltic states and members of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership.
REAPPS was designed with support from the United States Agency for International Development.