Roskam, Price Host Debrief of House Democracy Partnership Trip to Ukraine and Georgia

Aug 4, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Last week, House Democracy Partnership (HDP) Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Ranking Member David Price (D-NC) hosted a bipartisan debrief of their recent Congressional delegation to Ukraine and Georgia, where they met with leading parliamentarians, heads of state, and civil society organizations. Roskam and Price were joined at the briefing by several active HDP members, including Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC), Lois Capps (D-CA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and Sam Farr (D-CA), as well as representatives from the International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, Atlantic Council, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Roskam and Price also co-authored an op-ed in Roll Call describing the trip, and Roskam delivered a speech on the House floor, which can be found here.

“This was an opportunity to describe both the tremendous challenges and bright opportunities we witnessed in Ukraine and Georgia,” said Chairman Roskam. “My takeaway from this trip was that we should not bet against either of these countries—they are both pro-American and pro-democracy, and they want to be part of the Western world. The United States must support Ukraine and Georgia in the face of unprovoked aggression from Russia, and also continue to play a leading role in encouraging aspiring democracies across the globe.”

“I appreciated the opportunity to share my firsthand account of our visit to Ukraine and Georgia,” said Ranking Member Price. “To be sure, both governments face significant challenges, but I am very optimistic about their potential for success given credible support from the United States. I am glad that we had such a great first HDP trip of the 114th Congress, and I thank Chairman Roskam for organizing this productive event with the delegation, HDP’s partner organizations, and dozens of parliamentarians in both countries.”

“The meeting this morning provided valuable insight into the Members’ experience on their recent CODEL to Ukraine and Georgia, an area of the world that is particularly vital to HDP’s mission,” said Jessica Findlay and Katie LaRoque of the International Republican Institute. “IRI was pleased to hear the Members’ positive feedback and support for continued engagement in the region, as both countries seek to strengthen their democratic institutions.”

"We work for years on the ground to help the legislature move forward with reform, but reform requires political will,” said Rinor Beka, Senior Program Manager at the National Democratic Institute.“HDP builds political will for reform in a way no other vehicle can, because it is peer to peer. HDP is invaluable in amplifying in-country legislative strengthening programs because the messages are coming from other parliamentarians and so [MPs] listen."

“I just attended a meeting with members of the House Democracy Partnership on their experiences from a trip to Ukraine and Georgia,” said Anders Aslund, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. “It was co-chaired by Rep. Peter Roskam and Rep. David Price. HDP struck me as a highly useful endeavor. It was unusual as six congressmen were actually there and participated in a lively discussion and I was quite impressed by the insights of all the six congressmen about Ukraine and Georgia and also the great bipartisanship that was displayed.”

“In an increasingly complex world, the House Democracy Partnership plays a critical role in bringing together lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, staff, and advocates to discuss the pressing issues of the day,” said Lindsay Lee Plack, Director of Government Relations at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.