On December 12th, 2012, 13 civil society organizations supporting or conducting citizens’ election observation in the states of the Eastern Partnership, the Russian Federation and the European Union launched the “European Platform for Democratic Elections” (EPDE) in Warsaw.
The European Platform of Election Observation improves the professional quality through development and implementation of unified standards and comparable observation methods of the election observation networks in Europe’s new democracies. EPDE encourages, trains and defends those experts and citizens who stand up for transparent and equal suffrage wherever it is at risk all over Europe – be it in the European Union’s member states, in the Eastern partnership countries or in the Russian Federation.
The Platform coordinates its efforts with already existing structures, such as the Election observation program of the Eastern Partnership Facility of the Council of Europe and the European Network of Election Observation Organizations ENEMO as well as with the Working Group on election observation of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership and the Working Group on democratic procedures in the EU Russia Civil Society Forum.
The aim of the “European Platform for Democratic Elections” is to assist citizens’ election observation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership and in the Russian Federation, and to contribute to democratic election processes throughout Europe. EPDE should improve the professionalism of domestic election observation throughout Europe and increase the visibility of findings of domestic election observation nationally and internationally.
The EPDE carries out a set of activities with the aim at strengthening professional capacities of the member organizations:
- Regular experts’ round table meetings for Platform members to share experience in domestic election observation techniques
- Tailored training for long-term and short-term election observers of domestic election observation networks
- Training of core team members (political, election and legal analysts, media analyst, long-term and short-term observers’ coordinators) by international experts including experts from other member organizations of the Platform
- International peer-training through internet-based communication tools
- Organization of volunteer campaigns, mobilization and training programs for citizens wishing to participate in election observation
- Organization of common election observation missions in the framework of the Platform.
The EPDE contributes to increasing visibility for findings of domestic election observation through:
- Organization of international information and lobby campaigns with the aim at strengthening the outreach of the findings of independent domestic election observation missions
- Installation of internet-based information tools on election observation in Europe for dissemination of the findings of the domestic observation missions
- Presentation of findings of domestic election observation in the political structures of Europe (European Parliament, European Commission, Council of Europe, national governments and parliaments, OSCE/ODHIR).