EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC)
http://ec.europa.eu
Mission/Mandate:
“The European Commission embodies and upholds the general interest of the Union and is the driving force in the Union's institutional system. Its four main roles are to propose legislation to Parliament and the Council, to administer and implement Community policies, to enforce Community law (jointly with the Court of Justice) and to negotiate international agreements, mainly those relating to trade and cooperation.“ (EC Website, http://ec.europa.eu/about_en.htm, accessed on 12 June 2008)
Target group:
EU institutions and Member States; EU neighbouring countries; EU candidate and potential candidate countries; countries where elections were observed by EU Election Observation Missions; media; general public.
Objective:
Election Observation is an important part of the EU activities to promote “democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide“ (EC Website, http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/human_rights/eu_election_ass_observ/index.htm, accessed on 12 June 2008).
The objectives of European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) are: To deepen political relationship and economic integration between EU and neighbouring countries; to “strengthen the prosperity, stability and security” in the region; and to support “common values (democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development)” (EC Website, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/policy_en.htm, accessed on 12 June 2008).
The aim of the EU Enlargement strategies and accession reports is to monitor the progress in candidate and potential candidate countries, including their respect such values as peace, freedom, democracy, rule of law, solidarity and tolerance, as well as economic criteria.
Funding:
EU budget.
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: The EC sends missions to observe election processes to many countries worldwide.
ENP applies to the EU's immediate neighbours by land or sea: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine (EC Website, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/policy_en.htm, accessed on 12 June 2008).
Progress and Accession Reports contain information on candidate countries (Croatia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey) and potential candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Montenegro, and Serbia).
Thematic focus: Reports of EU Election Assistance and Observation contain information on the election process in the observed country, more concretely information on political background, legal issues, election administration, participation of women and minorities, voter registration and registration of candidates, media participation, campaigning and pre-election environment, etc.
ENP Progress Reports contain information on political dialogue and reform, democracy, justice, human rights, fundamental freedoms, economic and social cooperation and reforms, freedom, security, education and health.
Progress and Accession reports contain information on political developments, democracy and the rule of law, human rights and the protection of minorities, regional issues and international obligations, economic criteria, relations between EU and candidate or potential candidate states, ability to meet the conditions of membership, etc.
Reporting methodology:
Reports of EU Election Assistance and Observation Missions (EOM) present the EOM’s findings on the respective elections. The observation in each country is conducted in accordance with the EU election observation methodology and in line with international standards for elections (see various Reports of EU Election Assistance and Observation; see also EC: Commission Communication on Election Assistance and Observation of 2000 [COM 2000/191 final], 11 April 2000, http://europa.eu/eur-lex/en/com/cnc/2000/com2000_0191en01.pdf, accessed on 2 July 2008).
ENP Progress Reports are EC staff working documents. “Non-governmental organisations active in the fields covered by the ENP Action Plans are invited to provide information”. However, “no source will be quoted in the final report”. “The progress reports are of a synthetic nature and therefore, not all information received will be part of the final report. Nor do the reports refer to individual cases, whether these be indicative of positive or negative developments. However, contributions are always highly valuable for the general background.” (EC: Invitation to contribute information to the ENP Progress reports, 2008, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/pdf/consultation/consultation2008_en.pdf, accessed on 2 July 2008)
Progress and Accession Reports are also EC staff working documents. “Progress is measured on the basis of decisions taken, legislation adopted and measures implemented.” The reports are “based on information gathered and analysed by the Commission”. In addition, many sources are used, including contributions from the respective government, European Parliament reports, and “information from various international and non-governmental organisations” (see various Progress and Accession Reports, eg EC: Croatia 2007 Progress Report, p. 5, http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/key_documents/2007/nov/croatia_progress_reports_en.pdf, accessed on 2 July 2008).
Publication cycle:
Reports on the results of election observation missions are published on irregular basis depending on the time when elections are held in a country where an EC observation mission is sent.
ENP Progress Reports are published irregularly.
Progress and Accession Reports are published in accordance with EU enlargement strategies; but in general periodically in November each year.
Languages:
Reports: English; some of the reports are also published in other languages (mainly French and German).
Website: Official EU languages; however, the languages a specific page is available in varies from section to section, and all or most pages are available in English.
Navigation of website:
Please note: As of 2 July 2008, some sections of the EC’s website seem not to be fully readable when using Mozilla Firefox (versions 2 & 3).
Reports of EU Election Assistance and Observation: Home > EU Policies > External Relations and Foreign Affairs > Human Rights in the World > EU Election Assistance & Observation.
ENP Progress Reports: Home > EU Policies > External Relations and Foreign Affairs > Neighbourhood policy > click on How does it work? and then on Country Reports.
Progress and Accession Reports: Home > EU Policies > External Relations and Foreign Affairs > Enlargement > How does it work? > Progress reports.
Additional references:
Wikipedia: European Commission
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Commission (accessed on 12 June 2008)
European Commission: European Neighbourhood Policy - What is the European Neighbourhood Policy?, 1 April 2008
http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/policy_en.htm, (accessed on 12 June 2008)
European Commission: European Neighbourhood Policy - The Policy: Frequently asked questions (FAQ), 3 April 2008
http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/faq_en.htm, (accessed on 2 July 2008)
European Commission: The EU's Human Rights & Democratisation Policy
http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/human_rights/intro/index.htm, (accessed on 2 July 2008)
Minority Rights Group International: Pushing for Change? South East Europe’s Minorities in the EU Progress Reports, 1 July 2008
www.mrg.webbler.co.uk/download.php?id=523 (accessed on 3 July 2008)
Homepage:
http://ec.europa.eu/
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