The Friedrich Ebert Foundation – in cooperation with PRIF and the EDP Network – invited representatives from policy, civil society and academia for an expert talk to their Berlin office. The meeting’s theme was “The Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights under Pressure: ‘Shrinking Civic Spaces’ as a Challenge to German Foreign and Development Policy”. The expert talk gave us the opportunity to discuss this highly controversial issue in a small group of people concerned with shrinking spaces in their professional lives, and to debate the most important related questions and perspectives. The following questions were at the center of debate: How do German politicians and German actors deal with the challenges of shrinking spaces in the area of democracy promotion? What will and should future democracy promotion and human rights look like in an increasingly complex world? And how successful have the instruments of democracy promotion been so far? The invitation with further background information can be found here. Participation was based on invitation only and the exchange was under Chatham House Rules.