Source description last updated: 22. Mai 2020

In brief:

EU Election Observation Missions are conducted as part of the activities of the EU European External Action Service (EEAS) to monitor elections in numerous countries outside Europe.

Coverage on

Election Observation Mission reports

Covered monthly on for countries of priorities A–E (all available countries).


“The purpose of EU election observation missions (EOMs) is to assist partner countries in holding elections of a high standard. In this context, the EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process and provides an impartial and informed assessment of the elections to strengthen the confidence of voters to participate freely.

An observation mission assesses all aspects of the electoral process, its constitutional and legal framework, the delimitation of constituencies, the registration of voters and candidates, the training of election staff, voter education, media coverage, the campaign and the preparations for election day, as well as the appeals process. On election day, observers visit pooling stations in order to observe the opening, voting, counting and aggregation of results.

Its fundamental principles are full coverage, impartiality, transparency and professionalism. […] Its main goals are the legitimisation of an electoral process, where appropriate, and the enhancement of public confidence in the electoral process to deter fraud, to strengthen respect for human rights, and to contribute to conflict resolution. […]

Election observation missions (EOMs) do not interfere in electoral processes. They only have the mandate to collect and verify information concerning the election process, analyse the observations and then, after the elections, to publish their findings. As a rule, EU EOMs always operate in a country on the basis of an invitation of the host government.” (EEAS website: Election observation missions (EUEOMs), 10 August 2016)


EU funds

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus:

EU Election Observation Mission reports have covered elections in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (EEAS website: EU and Election Observation, 17 December 2018). EU EOMs do not cover elections in the OSCE region.

Thematic focus:

EOM reports cover the following issues deemed to be “relevant to all elections”: political context, legal framework (including electoral system), election administration, voter registration, party and candidate registration, election campaign, electoral violence, media (EU: Handbook for European Union Election Observation, 2016, p. 35)


EU EOMs are “normally deployed in country about between 8-6 weeks prior to election day, with long-term observers arriving to assess the preparations for the election at regional level around 5-4 weeks before polling. The short-term observers arrive shortly before election day in order to increase the observation capacities of the mission during polling, counting and the aggregation of results.” (EEAS website: Election observation missions (EUEOMs), 10 August 2016)

“Assessment work of an EU EOM is undertaken through the direct observation of electoral events by EU observers and analysis of information obtained from relevant documents and meetings with a broad range of national and regional election stakeholders […]. Observers are deployed in the capital city and in regional locations across the host country to ensure that there is a balance of different regions and of urban and rural areas. […]

On election day, an EU EOM increases its coverage to observe voting and counting at polling stations. EU observers are deployed in mobile teams of two throughout the host country, and within its designated region, each team visits a number of different polling stations selected to reflect the distribution of the population in the country.” (EU: Handbook for European Union Election Observation, 2016, p. 35-36)

“Observers clearly distinguish between complaints, rumours, accusations and verified facts. Only facts that are witnessed or verified by the observers will be used as the basis of the mission's report. Furthermore, although the mission cooperates with other observer organisations, only information collected by its own international observers will be used for the mission's statement and final report.” (EEAS website: Election observation missions (EUEOMs), 10 August 2016)

Languages of publication:

English, French, Spanish

Further reading:

Previously on, EU election observation reports were also recorded under the source European Parliament:

All links accessed 22 May 2020