European Union,International

EESC Hearing on EC Defence of Democracy Package

5 Feb , 2024  

Brussels, 5 February 2024: The European Economic and Social Committee invited Election-Watch.EU to its hearing about the European Commission’s (EC) Defence of Democracy package.

In the agenda‘s panel II “Effective participation and resilience electoral processes” Armin Rabitsch from Election-Watch.EU commend the EC to its Recommendation on inclusive and resilient elections and on emphasising the importance of election observation to enhance integrity of the 2024 European Parliament elections.

Election-Watch.EU assessed the recommendations and added that:

  • Transparency is key in political party and campaign finance but should not come at the expense of infringing the work of CSOs in Member States with shrinking civic space.
  • Accountability of political campaign spending but also oversight of government spending and possible (ab)use of state resources in campaigning is required.
  • Equality in European electoral processes can be further enhanced by narrowing the deviation in suffrage rights across the EU Member States.
  • Inclusion of young voters, mobile EU citizens, persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups in the electoral processes is crucial to fully represent the electorate.

Election-Watch.EU further pointed out that:

  • While the EC recommendation makes reference to the Declaration of Principles for International Observers there is no reference to international standards like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In this respect any infringement on suffrage rights of persons with disabilities within  EU Member States should be abolished.
  • While the EC recommendation emphasised the role of election observation, also independent third party funding for non-partisan election observation is required.

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