Brussels/Vienna, 25 September 2020: Election-Watch.EU was invited by the European Commission to share the findings and recommendations of its Rapid Assessment on Covid-19 and Elections in Europe with the European Cooperation Network on Elections, which assembles representatives of election management bodies from the EU Member States.
In April 2020, Election-Watch.EU has conducted a Rapid Assessment to analyse the impact of Covid-19 on elections in Europe. At that time, few countries had adopted special measures to hold elections during the pandemic while 13 European countries had postponed various electoral events. In 13 countries, specific legislation had been passed affecting the holding of elections, mostly to enable election postponements. In 7 countries, the situation effected the foreseeable electoral cycle in other ways.
A key assessment finding was how differently parliaments across Europe reacted to the situation: During the lockdown in mid-April, 12 parliaments convened regularly while 17 parliaments convened with reduced numbers, or had fewer or irregular sessions. 12 countries had declared full or partial states of emergencies, while in 15 countries other legislation was applied to deal with the pandemic.
This was the seventh time that the European Cooperation Network on Elections has convened since 2019 and the third time that Election-Watch.EU was invited to share its views. Election-Watch.EU contributes to ongoing electoral reform debates at European level, including through the EU citizen consultations process, the European Democracy Action Plan, and in discussions with the European Parliament, as well as in the EU Member States. Election-Watch.EU also continues to assess electoral processes in Europe under the conditions of Covid-19.