Representatives from the EPDE travelled to Brussels to advocate for strengthened support by the EU for independent citizen election observation in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood.
In our latest study we have found that domestic election observers still face hurdles in many countries of the region, with Russia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus having particularly restrictive environments for independent observers.
EPDE participated in the conference of the Global Network for Democratic Election Monitors (GNDEM), of which EPDE is also a member, in which monitors from around the world could exchange their experiences of working in challenging environments, discuss how they can continue their work despite this, and advocate for improvements in conditions for independent election observers. Stefanie Schiffer, Executive Director of EPDE, spoke of difficult conditions still existing for citizen election observers in some of the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood and shared recommendations for electoral reforms made by EPDE's member organizations to improve conditions for election observation in their respective countries, which can also be found in our comparative study.
In addition to the GNDEM conference, EPDE members met with numerous stakeholders in the European Commission and European Parliamentarians to discuss what the EU should do to support independent domestic election observers and to discuss developments in the region regarding upcoming elections and ongoing electoral reform processes.
EPDE calls on the EU to
- protect the integrity of independent election observation
- pay more attention to recommendations made by citizen election observers and encourage the implementation of these recommendations.
EPDE's comparative analysis on the conditions for citizen election observation in the EU–EaP and Russia can be found below.