In response to the invitation by the Lebanese Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Lebanon to observe the parliamentary elections scheduled on 15 May 2022. Reflecting its continued commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections in Lebanon, the European Union also observed the 2005, 2009 and 2018 elections.
EU EOMs aim to promote democracy and human rights in a framework of cooperation with third countries. Lebanese authorities and civil society have reiterated that the presence of an EU EOM is an important and constructive contribution to the electoral process. EU Election Observation Missions are financed exclusively from European Union budgets.
The EU EOM is guided by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in 2005 by various international bodies and entities involved in international election observation.
Over the past 25 years, the European Union has deployed more than 200 election observation missions in some 75 countries on five continents and has developed a methodology based on the following principles:
- Comprehensive observation of electoral processes in accordance with international and regional obligations for democratic elections.
- Absolute independence of the mission.
- Non-interference in the electoral process.
- Neutrality and impartiality of observers.
- Adherence to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, commemorated at the United Nations in 2005.
- Respect for the Code of Conduct for international election observation and host country legislation.
The EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process, based on long-term observation. To this end, observers meet with the Lebanese electoral and political authorities, the different candidates, civil society organisations and the media to analyse, among other aspects:
- The legal framework and its application.
- The impartiality of the electoral administration.
- The reliability and integrity of the electoral roll.
- The registration of parties and candidates.
- The conduct of the election campaign.
- The use of public resources during the campaign.
- Fairness of candidates’ access to the media.
- Respect for the universal rights of freedom of expression and assembly.
- Voting, the counting of votes, their reflection in the electoral register and the scrutiny of votes.
- Appeals and complaints.
EU EOM composition
The Chief Observer of the EU EOM is Mr. György Hölvényi, a Hungarian Member of the European Parliament.
The 2022 EU Election Observation Mission to Lebanon is made of different groups of observers. The core team arrived in Beirut on 27 March and is composed of 10 election experts covering the different aspects of the electoral process:
- A deputy chief observer.
- A political analyst.
- A legal analyst.
- An electoral analyst.
- A media analyst.
- A social media analyst.
- A press officer.
- Two observers’ coordinators.
- And a data analyst.
In Mid-April, 30 long-term observers will be deployed in teams of two to cover all the regions of the country. Thereafter, 40 short-term observers will join the mission around Election Day to observe the polling, voting and counting. Some of these will also cover the Out of Country voting in 15 European countries where there is a significant presence of the Lebanese diaspora.
Other short-term observers recruited within the EU diplomatic community in Lebanon and a delegation from the European Parliament will also reinforce the mission close to the vote.
The EU Election Observation Mission will remain in the country until the conclusion of the electoral process.
For Election Day, the mission will comprise around 150 observers from all 27 EU member states and Norway and Switzerland.
Findings of the Mission
In line with the EU methodology on election observation, the Mission does not pronounce on the verdict of the polls but assesses the electoral process as a whole. Following the elections, the EU EOM will issue two reports. In the first, normally two days after Election Day, the mission will present a preliminary statement during a press conference in Beirut.
Approximately two months after the elections, a representation of the mission will return to Lebanon to release the final report with the government, electoral bodies, political parties and civil society. The report will include a final assessment of the electoral process and a set of recommendations for possible reforms to improve future electoral processes.