The European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report “Election Observation Missions – efforts made to follow up recommendations but better monitoring needed” on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at 11h30 in 23 EU languages.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The auditors assessed whether the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission had provided enough support for host countries to implement the recommendations made by election observation missions in Ghana, Jordan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. They focused on elections observed after 2010. The report will identify improvements in the presentation of the recommendations in recent years, but call for better monitoring and consultation on the ground. The auditors are expected to make a number of recommendations to the EEAS.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
Election observation is an important tool for promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Well-managed elections can contribute to the peaceful transfer of political power. Since the election observation methodology was established in 2000, the EU has deployed 138 election observation missions to 66 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Almost half of missions take place in Africa. The average cost of observation missions is €3.5 million, but varies significantly depending on the circumstances. The budget for election observation between 2015 and 2017 amounted to an average of around €44 million per year.
Observation missions are usually led by a Member of the European Parliament, who is appointed by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and acts as Chief Observer for the mission. Observers are obliged to be strictly impartial and not show bias towards any side in an electoral process. Following the elections, they issue a report on how to improve the framework for future elections, including the recommendations covering issues ranging from voter registration to electoral violence.
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.