European Union,General

SEEEDS Project Kick-Off Webinar with “Equality and Inclusion in the European Elections”

1 Feb , 2023  

Brussels/Vienna, 1 February 2023: Election-Watch.EU (EW) has successfully launched the SEEEDS project together with partners, the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD)Democracy Reporting International (DRI), and European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE). SEEEDS – short for Supporting Engagement in European Elections and Democratic Societies – aims on raising awareness about the European elections and bridging the gap between active European citizens and EU decision makers.

The SEEEDS project pursues five interlinked objectives: To expand and strengthen civil society engagement in electoral processes, to strengthen the network of electoral experts for an assessment of the European elections in 2024, to develop practical recommendations at European level, to contribute to the fight against disinformation, and to encourage citizen participation, in particular of women, youth, voters with disabilities, and mobile European citizens.

In its first phase, the SEEEDS project hosts four webinars between January and April 2024, each taking place on the last Tuesday of the month. The first webinar, moderated by Carolin Johnson of EPD and Michael Lidauer of Election-Watch.EU, was dedicated to the topics of equality and inclusion in the European elections.

Following a short input on these themes based on the findings of the Election-Watch.EU Election Assessment Mission Report 2019, the invited guest speakers had the opportunity to present their positions. Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Domènec Ruiz Devesa (Span) provided insights in the legislative process and envisaged changes to the European Elections Act, and former MEP Urszula Gacek (Poland) shared experiences regarding the challenges of women candidates. Alejandro Moledo del Rio (European Disability Forum, EDF) explained the remaining obstacles for the electoral participation of persons with disabilities in the European Union, and Noemi Arcidiacono (Agora Election Observation) gave a youth perspective on the electoral process.

Altogether, the speakers explained that the remaining legislative avenues ahead of the elections to the European Parliament in May 2024 may be limited, but there could be room for improvements for particular groups of voters, for example mobile European citizens. It also became apparent that advancing one particular agenda – such as universally accessible design to facilitate better access for persons with disabilities – may be beneficial for all voters in the European elections. The webinar’s 100 participants, who had the opportunity of engaging in an interactive question and answer session with the speakers, were in particular interested in learning more about overcoming obstacles for women candidates such as gendered hate speech, tools for enhancing youth participation, the electoral participation of national minorities, and the chances for citizen election observation which could not only detect areas that require further improvements, but also best practices to be shared among the European Union Member States.

SEEEDS Webinar 1 on “Equality and Inclusion in the European Elections” can be watched on youtube:

The next SEEEDS webinar will be dedicated to the topic of transparency, with a specific focus on political advertising regulation, and will take place on 28 February. More information can be found on the SEEEDS website:

, , ,