Brussels, 27.11.2019: Election-Watch.EU was invited to present the findings and recommendations of its Election Assessment Mission (EAM) to the 2019 European Elections at a network meeting of European election management bodies (EMBs) at the European Commission in Brussels. Michael Lidauer presented the background, objectives, key findings and recommendations of the EAM, which was the first comprehensive, civil-society based election observation exercise at European level.
The EAM, which consisted of 65 election observers and experts and 8 like-minded organisations across the EU, had focused in particular on the Member States’ adaptation of EU regulations and international standards; differences in electoral calendars, including for voter registration and campaigns; campaign finance regulations; social media regulations; the electoral participation of persons with disabilities; and the conditions for election observation. The recommendations in these areas of assessment can be summarised under the principles of equality, inclusion, transparency and accountability.
The representatives of the Member States’ EMBs were interested in discussing their respective regulatory frameworks and accreditation systems for international and citizen election observation and in a comparison of the various practices. Standards and principles of non-partisan and professional election observation are key to prevent misconduct by politically-biased “fake observers”.
Next steps for Election-Watch.EU include the presentation of the EAM findings and recommendations at the European Parliament; the consolidation of the Election-Watch.EU network in the Member States; and advocacy for electoral reforms at European level and in the Member States. Commission President Ursula van der Leyen has already instructed Commissioners to prepare discussions on the lead candidate principle and on transnational lists as well as other issues pertaining to the electoral law at European level in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe and the European Democracy Action Plan.