Imagen de una misión de observación electoral de la Unión Europea en Beirut (Líbano) en el año 2005.
Election Observation
The multiple democratisation processes initiated in much of the world nearly three decades ago have led to increasingly greater demand for international election observation missions.
What is international election observation?
As an objective mechanism for the impartial and independent evaluation of election processes, international election observation has accompanied numerous processes for strengthening democracy initiated in the last 25 years. It has thus become the most visible expression of the commitment of the international community and Spain to promote human rights and democratic values. There are numerous potential benefits derived from the presence of an electoral observation mission acting on the basis of independence, impartiality and neutrality: reduction of levels of fraud; conflict mitigation; strengthening of the confidence of the electorate in the electoral process; the essential signalling function; institutional strengthening; and improvement of electoral processes through the preparation of recommendations.

What does an Election Observation Mission (EOM) do?
An EOM carries out an in-depth analysis of the electoral process as a whole from the perspective of the electoral cycle, using a standardised methodology. It does so with the aim of providing a professional, independent and impartial assessment of the quality of the electoral process observed in accordance with a variety of instruments of international law for democratic elections, good practices and national legislation.

What members make up an EOM?
The Core Team: It is headed up by a head of Mission, assisted by an assistant Head of Mission and a number of expert-analysts (electoral, legal, media monitoring, political analyst, gender, etc.) It is deployed for an average period of between eight and twelve weeks, and is responsible for preparing the Preliminary Declaration that will include the conclusions of the EOM.

The members of the core team of an EOM of the European Union are chosen directly by the corresponding Commission unit, the Foreign Policy Instrument, in coordination with the corresponding European External Action Service. Job vacancies

Similarly, the members of the core group of an EOM of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are directly selected by the corresponding department of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE (ODIHR).Job vacancies

To apply for the vacancies posted, candidates will have to register first in the database of election experts of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE.

Long-term observers: They are responsible for analysing the development of the election process in their areas of responsibility for the pre and post-election period, and are deployed for an average period of between six and eight weeks.

Short-term observers: They are responsible for observing the process of voting, counting and consolidating the results, and are deployed for an average period of between seven and fifteen days.

What are the international organisations of an inter-governmental and non-governmental nature that carry out the election observation?
The EU, the OSCE and the Organisation of American States (OAS) are the main organisations for observation of the election process in which Spanish election observers participate. The African Union has in recent years become a key regional actor in election observation. Together with these organisations, the following non-governmental organisations are worth noting: the Carter Centre, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI).

What is the function of the Human Rights Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation?
The Human Rights Office (ODH) is the unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation responsible for pre-selecting or selecting the long and short-term observers for EU, OAS and OSCE election observation missions.

In the case of the EU, the ODH presents the corresponding unit of the Commission (the FPI) with preselected candidates. The FPI then carries out the final selection of the observers to be deployed, based on the pre-selected list. In the case of OSCE, the ODH carries out the selection of election observers while in the case of the OAS it is carried out in coordination with the Department for Cooperation and Election Observation of the OAS Secretariat for Political Affairs.

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