Election-Watch.EU conducted a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) to assess the relevance of citizen-led election observation in the context of the 2019 European elections, taking the electoral processes in European Union (EU) Member States into account. The NAM, led by Armin Rabitsch and Michael Lidauer, was conducted between 28 January and 1 February 2019 in Brussels.
This mission was based on Member States’ international obligations and regional commitments and EU respect of international election observation methodology. The mission assessed the pre-election environment and the preparations for the 2019 European elections. In reference to international election observation methodology, the NAM considered how citizen election observers can contribute to improving the conduct of and confidence in the European elections.
The NAM met with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and officials from the European Parliament (EP), the European Council, and the European Commission. The mission also met a range of representatives from political parties, media, and civil society organizations.
Election-Watch.EU is now planning to deploy a comprehensive Election Assessment Mission (EAM) for the 2019 European elections. The EAM will work with national chapters, led by a focal point augmented by international election experts, deployed in each Member State. The objective is to enhance the European integration by raising awareness of the importance of these elections, encouraging best electoral practice, detecting possible shortcomings, and by providing detailed recommendations for reform.
This initiative will further strengthen European democratic practices and contribute to the overall electoral integrity of European elections. A comprehensive, publicly available EAM report will focus in particular on the adaptation by Member States of international standards and European regulations, covering voter registration, campaign finance, social media and the electoral participation of persons with disabilities. The report will provide a comprehensive basis for follow-up advocacy.