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Background

The Club of Madrid was launched following the Conference on Democratic Transition and Consolidation (CDTC), held in Madrid, Spain, in October 2001. At that unprecedented gathering, 35 heads of state and government from Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa met with more than 100 of the world's most respected scholars and policy experts to discuss the problems of building democracy from both a theoretical and practical point of view. The CDTC looked at eight core issues, including constitutional design, the legislature and its relations with the executive, the judiciary and its relations with the executive, anti-corruption measures, the role of armed forces and security forces, reform of the state bureaucracy, strengthening of political and social pluralism and of political parties, and economic and social conditions. In four days of intensive discussion between the leaders and experts, the two groups were able to identify areas of agreement and disagreement, and formulate practical recommendations for strengthening democracy around the world. For more on the CDTC, go here.



The Club of Madrid's primary asset is its membership, which includes 68 distinguished former heads of state and government of democratic nations. The Club of Madrid seeks to leverage the first-hand experience of its members to assist countries with critical elements of their democratic transition or consolidation. A distinguished group of scholars, former policy makers and political leaders provides additional advice and assistance on a wide range of issues. The Club of Madrid is supported institutionally by the Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) and the Gorbachev Foundation of North America (GFNA), the original sponsors of the 2001 conference.

Questions

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CLUB OF MADRID?

The Club of Madrid was formed to harness the experience of recent leaders of transitional and mature democracies to address the growing challenges to democracy around the world. Our mission is to strengthen and advance democracy throughout the world, and to give practical support to countries in the process of democratic transition and consolidation.



WHY DO SUCH CHALLENGES EXIST?

Challenges to democracy are driven by a number of issues including growing inequality; economic turmoil; corruption; and ethnic and sectarian strife.



WHEN WAS THE ORGANIZATION FOUNDED?

The Club of Madrid, a joint project of Fundacion para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior (FRIDE) and the Gorbachev Foundation of North America, was registered as an NGO in May 2002, and held its first general assembly in October 2002. The next general assembly meeting is scheduled for Fall 2003.



WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF THE CLUB OF MADRID?

The members of the Club of Madrid are more than forty former heads of state including the former presidents of Brazil, the United States, the Soviet Union, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and the former prime ministers of Canada, Portugal, India, Korea and the United Kingdom, among others.



WHERE DOES THE ORGANIZATION GET ITS FUNDING?

The Club of Madrid is currently funded by FRIDE, with the goal of becoming self-sufficient through other funding by 2005.



WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE ORGANIZATION?

The Club of Madrid is not geographically focused, but our short term goals are in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa. We are currently working to reform key institutions in Serbia-Montenegro and to assist with its integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions such as the European Union and NATO's Partnership for Peace. We are working with the United Nations Development Program, helping to strengthen democracy throughout Latin America.

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