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“Our citizens gain from living in a world with more democracies and fewer authoritarian regimes” said President Tajani at a high-level conference on electoral observation.

“The first mission was carried out in 1994 in Belarus. To date, there have been 209 electoral observations conducted by Parliament in 78 countries”, said European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, kicking off a two-day conference on “The future of international election observation” on Wednesday.

Organised together with the EEAS, the event gathers MEPs, former heads of state, national parliamentarians, representatives of international organisations, election observers, donors and civil society to share best practices on how to conduct elections and to debate the future challenges and opportunities of election observation.

“These missions are an example of our great commitment to a robust parliamentary diplomacy, a fundamental tool for influencing the international scene. It is in the best interests of our citizens to live in a world with more democracies and fewer authoritarian regimes, which often cause instability, waves of refugees and economic decline.

Monitoring elections in non-EU countries requires credibility and political sensitivity. The fact that it is carried out by elected representatives of EU citizens has, therefore, a great added value and increases the visibility of electoral missions. This is why, in the missions of the European Union, the chief election observer is always a MEP, capable of balancing technical analysis with the necessary political considerations”, Tajani said.

Programme of the conference

Wednesday’s session is focused on the challenges and opportunities of election observation: ICT, tackling disinformation and the use of social media.

On 11 October at 9.00, the participants will debate how elections are organised, conflict prevention, security and peaceful transition. This will be followed by two parallel sessions on the role and best practices of parliamentary observation and on the EU-AU-UN cooperation on electoral processes.

The conference will be wrapped up by Ms Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mr Roger Nkodo Dang, Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament and Ms. Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief.

A detailed programme of the event is available here.

You can follow it live here.

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