On May 4, the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies (FAES) based in Spain awarded the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) with its 2016 Freedom Award in recognition of each organization’s work individually and jointly to support freedom and democracy around the world.
During an event held in the U.S. Capitol building, FAES President and former Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar presented the award. Aznar celebrated the work of IRI and NDI, noting the admirable spirit of bipartisanship with which the two organizations conduct themselves and “because they take action, because they act, because the work they carry out seeks to make a difference on the ground.”
[FAES] share[s] their approach, which consists in helping societies to develop their own capacities, to train their human capital, to create institutional instruments, to strengthen their political culture so they can take responsibility for their own freedom.
-FAES President José María Aznar
NDI Vice Chair and former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, accepting the award on NDI’s behalf, said that it is critical for organizations like NDI and IRI to keep helping citizens and building democratic societies in a constantly connecting world.
“We have been honored by our friendship and partnership with the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies,” Daschle said. “[FAES is] a group that shares many of our same values and goals.” Former Governor of Puerto Rico and member of the IRI International Advisory Council, Luis Fortuño accepted on behalf of IRI.
“To me, this award represents the backbone – the values, the strategic importance – of the United States and Europe working together,” Fortuño said.
The event also featured special guests Representative Peter Roskam and David Price of the House Democracy Partnership who reiterated the importance of the work of the two organizations, and the value of international cooperation in support of democracy.
The FAES Award was further recognition of the bipartisan nature of the work of NDI and IRI - both in programs conducted jointly in many countries as well as in support for democracy assistance.