With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for election observers.
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Do you believe that democracy is key to world security and universal respect of human rights? Do you want to get involved in democratisation in the world? The EU is on your side.
Election observation is one of the main ways the EU promotes democracy, seeking to help stabilise states and increase EU citizens’ security worldwide. Providing election observers shows that Europe cares, and that it is watching, making it easier for voters to accept the outcome of an electoral process and avoid the post-electoral unrest that tends to affect young democracies. Since 2000, the EU has been invited to take part in over 100 election observation missions to third countries. Each mission observes and assesses the electoral process, neither intervening nor validating its result. Indeed, EU missions remain independent, without preference for who wins or loses, but rather make specific recommendations to deepen countries’ democratic processes. To complement this action, the EU can provide capacity-building, technical, and material support for the electoral process: in the last five years, €400 million in EU electoral assistance has been spread between 40 different countries.
Since 2000, about 11 000 experienced observers have taken part in long and short-term election observation missions. Do you fancy taking part in this important task? Advertisements for positions are published on the Commission website regularly, enabling a large spectrum of EU citizens to gain unique experience, while contributing to the noble aim of promoting democracy.
- EPRS publication on Democracy support in EU external policy, 2018, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2018)614717
- European Commission’s Directorate General for Development Cooperation website on Support to elections, https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sectors/human-rights-and-governance/democracy-and-human-rights/election-observation-missions-0_en