Source description last updated: 23 January 2019
 
In brief: The European Parliament is a body of the European Union (EU) that, together with the Council of the European Union, exercises the legislative function of the EU. It also sends election observation missions to countries outside the EU.
 
Coverage on ecoi.net:
Reports of Election Observation Missions (Special and Analytical Report)
Covered quarterly on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A-E (all available countries).
 
Mission/Mandate/Objectives:
“The Parliament acts as a co-legislator, sharing with the Council the power to adopt and amend legislative proposals and to decide on the EU budget. It also supervises the work of the Commission and other EU bodies and cooperates with national parliaments of EU countries to get their input. […] The Parliament sees its role not only in promoting democratic decision-making in Europe but also in supporting the fight for democracy, freedom of speech and fair elections across the globe.” (European Parliament website: About Parliament, undated)
 
“The European Parliament sends some 10-12 short-term election observation delegations to countries outside the EU every year.” (European Parliament: Global Democracy Support, undated, pp. 8)
 
“Every EU election observation mission is headed by an MEP-Chief Observer. These missions are sent only when invited by the country’s authorities. […] These missions always reinforce an ongoing, longer-term mission in the country.” (European Parliament: Global Democracy Support, undated, pp. 8-9)
 
The European Parliament’s election observation missions “aim at strengthening, in the third countries concerned by elections or referendums, the legitimacy of national electoral processes, increasing public confidence in elections, avoiding electoral fraud, better protecting human rights and contributing to conflict solution.” (European Parliament website: Election Observation, undated)
 
Funding:
The European Parliament’s budget is part of the general budget of the European Union, of which it makes up 1.2% (European Parliament website: Budget: how the European Parliament makes the most of its annual funding, undated).
 
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: non-EU countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Thematic focus: Election-related aspects including political background, legal framework, election administration, voter registration, candidate nominations, election campaigns, media, participation of women, human rights issues, polling and vote counting and other topics (see, for example, European Parliament: Election Observation Delegation to the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections in Sierra Leone (07 March 2018); Report by Neena Gill CBE, Chair of the EP Delegation, June 2018).
 
Methodology:
Reports of EP Election Observation Delegations present findings of Members of the European Parliament from their missions, e.g. from briefings with the relevant EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) Core Team, meetings with representatives from the main political parties, government authorities, the election commission and civil society and from observations of the conduct at polling stations on election day (see, for example, European Parliament: Report on the European Parliament Election Observation Delegation to the Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe (28 July -1 August 2018), 2018, pp. 3-4 and European Parliament: Election Observation Delegation to the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections in Sierra Leone (07 March 2018); Report by Neena Gill CBE, Chair of the EP Delegation, June 2018).
 
The “European Parliament’s election observation activities are governed by the Decision of the Conference of Presidents of 13 September 2012 which sets out clear criteria and procedures for election observation delegations” (European Parliament website: Election Observation, undated). This decision can be accessed via the following link: http://www.epgencms.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/upload/e0f9ac2a-b44c-4fba-8415-e3e4d77241de/Decision-of-the-European-Parliament-Conference-of-Presidents_13-September-2012_EN.pdf
 
Moreover, the European Parliament “conducts its election observation in accordance with the Declaration of Principles of International Election Observation and Code of Conduct adopted [and] endorsed by the European Parliament in 2007” (European Parliament website: Election Observation, undated). This document can be accessed via the following link: https://www.ndi.org/sites/default/files/1923_declaration_102705_0.pdf
 
Language(s) of publications:

Reports of European Parliament Election Observation Missions are in English
 
All links accessed 23 January 2019.
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