Vienna/Tirana, 3 March 2021: Election-Watch.EU has launched its workshop “Active Youth in the Electoral Process” in partnership with the Young Professionals Network (YPN) in Albania. The workshop is dedicated to enhance the knowledge and skills of a young generation of Albanian voters to get engaged in the electoral process ahead of parliamentary elections on 25 April in a non-partisan manner. It includes learning modules on the electoral cycle, electoral stakeholders, and international standards as well as on European electoral values and Albania’s European integration. The workshop also familiarises participants with the roles of international organisations in their support to the electoral process, namely the OSCE Presence in Albania, the Delegation of the European Union to Albania, and the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, all of whom will address the participant group. Furthermore, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) supports the activity with an input to provide updates on the electoral process, in particular relevant to young voters.
The workshop takes place in a hybrid manner, in respect of the Albanian rules regarding Covid-19, and to implement further precautionary measures. Following three online preparatory sessions for all participants, smaller groups will be convened in the form of in-person trainings in the Albanian countryside. The in-person modules in particular will discuss the electoral system ahead of the 25 April parliamentary elections in detail, will provide fresh insights on voter education via social media during the electoral campaign period, and will include hands-on models for the participants to develop their own social media voter education contents and tools. The participants will be encouraged to develop follow-up activities, in particular to get in engaged in further young voter education, and to disseminate the workshop findings to a larger audience.
This activity takes place against the background of recent electoral reforms which have been debated in relation to the process of European integration. Changes were introduced inter alia to the structure of election management, voter identification on election day, regulations of candidate nomination, campaign and campaign finance, and voting rules. The workshop also takes place ahead of the foreseen deployment of an OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission and as citizen election observers prepare for these elections. The activity is supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation.