The European Centre for Electoral Support together with the European Partnership for Democracy and its 13 members from 11 EU Member States will present their lessons learned from having supported various electoral and democratic processes over the last 5 years in all parts of the world.
EPD is the most important network of European civil and political society organisations working on democracy assistance. It operates at the EU level advocating for a stronger presence of democracy support on the EU’s agenda. EPD members have implemented activities in 190 ongoing projects in 128 countries. There are 1200 people at present working for the members of the different members of EPD, including the 49 Regional offices.
In this context, the joint experiences of EPD members provide the needed knowledge and expertise to implement a robust European response to electoral support activities. From this collective experience a specific and distinct European model to electoral and democracy support has emerged: “A European Response to Electoral Cycle Support”.
It represents essentially a strategic approach to electoral support in third countries, aiming, together with previous programmes implemented by ECES and EPD members individually, at promoting peace and stability by working around political and electoral cycles with all electoral stakeholders.
Peaceful elections are indeed a key corner stone of a healthy democracy whereas violent and flawed elections often result in democratic decline. Transparent, credible, sustainable and fair elections are thus one of the preconditions for democracy and development.
Having delivered democracy and electoral support worldwide, ECES and the EPD network will showcase some of the most notable lessons learned from the field using reports, audio-visual material, presentations and discussions.
The stand at EU DEV DAYS 2016 will thus contribute to a broader understanding of democracy and electoral processes and will demonstrate how many fields, seemingly diverse from the electoral, are actually interconnected. These include support to political parties, parliaments, security forces, civil society organisations, media, awareness raising on gender issues and decentralisation.
The stand also aims at raising awareness on the past, present and future of European-tailored support to electoral cycles. As such, it will constitute a forum to jointly examine the multi-facetted electoral field and will feature several debates organised by the different EPD members. ECES and EPD will also use the stand and the forum to build bridges between like-minded European organisations and inspire them to get involved in this field and create further synergies. In this context, EPD would constitute a natural forum for exchange, involving in this debate also non-European organisations.
On 15th June at 17.00 ECES and EPD will be represented in the high level panel chaired by High Representative and Vice-president of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini. The panel will be on “Implementing SGG 16 in relation with the opportunities and challenges to the security and development nexus”. Thjjs Berman will represent ECES and EPD bringing his different experiences as a former member of the European Parliament and several times Chief Observer of EU Election Observation missions. During his mandate at the European Parliament Mr. Berman was member of the Development Committee, member of the Sub-Committee for Human Rights and Rapporteur of the legal framework for the Instrument for Cooperation and Development and of the multiannual budget for the Cooperation and Development Policy. Mr Berman is presently the Team Leader of the EU funded project in support of the Electoral Commission in Central African Republic, implemented by ECES.
The EPD members that have contributed to this strategy, are the Netherland Institute for Multi-party Democracy, Club de Madrid, DEMO Finland, European Association for Local Democracy and The Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa, Osservatorio di Pavia and OneWorld.