MEPs and the HRVP discuss the next steps of International Election Observation
The 3-day event, co-organised by the European Parliament and the European External Action Service, included a high-level session entitled "Defending Democracy: the role of election observation" attended by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell, EP Vice-President, Ms Eva Kaili, and former President of Costa Rica, Ms Laura Chinchilla.
In his speech, the EU High Representative for the Foreign and Security Policy highlighted that “We must step up efforts to strengthen democracy, both at home and abroad.” This while recognising that there is a diversity of paths towards democracy and this is not about projecting the western model”. He also added that “this is about promoting universal values and human rights. Those are the wider principles that we defend when we do our work on election observation”.
Speaking on behalf of EP President Roberta Metsola, Vice-President Eva Kaili underlined the need for International Election Observers to communicate better and reach out more effectively to policy makers and citizens, and for election observation methodologies to adapt faster to present and future challenges.
According to the former President of Costa Rica, Ms Laura Chinchilla, election observation can also help to build consensus in situations of conflict amongst different participants of the electoral process, if requested. As she said, this is most important in highly conflictive and polarized political contexts.
Participants also shared experiences, including on the follow-up activities as part of the overall election observation process, on online campaigning and election technologies in the electoral process, and on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on election observation.
The meeting was the 15th Annual Implementation Meeting of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation (DoP). The Implementation Meeting is the annual gathering of the 55 organisations, including the EP and the EEAS that have endorsed the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and are active in the area of international election observation.
Pictures of the meeting: https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/photoset/p_20221207_EP-141475A_PB9_017