Presentation of European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) at the European Parliament in Brussels
- “Civic observation is a powerful instrument for citizens’ control over electoral processes and deserves the attention and the support of the European institutions. We wish the best success for the newly established “European Platform for Democratic Elections” said Werner Schulz, Member of the European Parliament, during the presentation of the EPDE at the European Parliament on Wednesday January 30th.
The platform was established in December 2012 in Warsaw by the twelve most experienced civil society organisations conducting or supporting civic election observation in the six Eastern Partnership countries and in the Russian Federation. EPDE will provide peer learning and exchange of methodologies for the detection of election falsification. “The platform will assist its members in improving their observation techniques and disseminating their findings to the international community” explains Berit Lindeman from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. “The example of Ukraine shows that even in a situation where the quality of the election process deteriorates, citizens’ observation of electoral processes can contribute to more transparency during the elections” comments Sergiy Tkachenko from the Committee of Voters of Ukraine.
Among the planned activities for 2013 are experts’ missions and information campaigns during the upcoming Presidential elections in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. EPDE is not planning to organise fully-fledged international civic election observation missions but rather to train and to encourage domestic election observers in those European countries that restrict their citizens’ rights to democratic elections.
The founding members of the European Platform for Democratic Elections are the Association GOLOS (Russia), Belarusian Helsinki Committee BHC (Belarus), Committee of Voters of Ukraine CVU, Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center EMDSC (Azerbaijan), European Exchange (Germany), Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly VANADZOR (Armenia), Human Rights Center “Viasna” (Belarus), International Society for Free Elections and Democracy ISFED (Georgia), Norwegian Helsinki Committee NHC, Civil Network OPORA (Ukraine), Association Promo-Lex (Moldova) and Swedish International Liberal Centre SILC (Sweden).