Information session for Members of the European Parliament on International Election Observation
On 5 November 2019, the Global Campus of Human Rights worked side by side with the Democracy and Elections Actions Unit of the European Parliament with a view to offer to MEPs an information session dedicated to international electoral observation focusing on the European Parliament’s role and approach to election observation. The info session took part in the ASP Building of the Parliament in Brussels.
The session — which was opened by David McAllister, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Co-Chair of the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group, and moderated by Cristina Castagnoli, Head of the Democracy and Elections Actions Unit — provided an overview on the setting of observation missions, on main elements of election observation methodology, and mostly focused on the role of Parliamentarians in election observation.
Through the input of the Global Campus experts on Electoral observation — Demetrio Lazagna, IEO Training Coordinator, and Armin Rabitsch, Election Expert — the information session also tackled specific current challenges to electoral observation including emerging voting technologies and growth of social media use, the phenomenon of “fake” observation, and the crucial importance of the follow-up to recommendations of Election Observation Missions, as well as the role of parliamentarians in ensuring such follow-up.
The event was appreciated by Parliamentarians from all political groups and country representation, both serving for the first time in their functions or serving their second mandate. Many took active part in the Q&A sessions which followed the presentations of the EP officials and Global Campus experts: a concrete sign of interest to be personally involved in democracy support at the international level during the legislature.
For the Global Campus, this was an occasion to realize concretely one of the crucial objectives of its mission, that of bringing education on human rights and democracy from it classic educational areas, right into the policy space. It also meant reinforcing and expanding its already existing cooperation with the European Parliament.
The information session dedicated to the MEPs is one among the many activities which the Global Campus of Human Rights organises in the field of electoral observation and dissemination of democracy and good governance principles: next in line is the Training on international election observation which the institution will organise from 25 till 29 November at its premises in Venice.