ODIHR / IPA II - Support to the follow-up of electoral recommendations in the Western Balkans
The assistance in Western Balkan Sates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) to bring the conduct of elections closer in line with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections with the aim to enhance public confidence in electoral management bodies and key electoral processes is the aim of the project.
1. The capacity of election management bodies to conduct elections in an administratively effective, politically impartial, and transparent manner is enhanced.
2. The accuracy of voter lists and voter registration processes is increased.
3. The knowledge and capacity of media regulatory bodies to regulate and monitor media conduct during elections, thereby contributing to a pluralistic and fair campaign environment, are improved.
Addressing electoral recommendations is complex and involves a variety of actors. These may include executive offices of the government for defining national policy, parliaments for legislative development, Electoral Management Bodies and other state agencies for elaborating administrative procedures, and non-state actors such as political parties, media and Civil Society Organisations in the review of internal policies and in the advocacy and monitoring of broader reforms. The estimated number of direct beneficiaries is 1260.
Women remain underrepresented in the electoral playing field in the targeted IPA II beneficiaries. The action will consider at each step how the process and outcomes of electoral reform will address potential shortcomings, and advocate for such measures that will promote gender equality in an electoral process and more broadly in public life.
In line with the OSCE/ODIHR’s (OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) established methodology, the action will also assess and promote the participation of national minorities, notably Roma, and persons with disabilities.
1. Inception Phase: Launch event at the regional level, Consultation and planning visits, Development of electoral recommendation database
2. Addressing electoral recommendations: Topical workshops, Provision of in-depth assistance, Organisation of mid-term review visits
3. Mobilizing support for electoral reform at the regional level, Review event at the regional level
In the last two decades, the Western Balkans region has demonstrated notable progress towards adopting democratic norms and institutions, including with respect to the conduct of democratic elections. Notwithstanding, in the course of its recent election observation activities to the region, the OSCE/ODIHR has noted varied degrees of implementation of OSCE commitments and other standards for democratic elections, as well as cases of limited public confidence towards Electoral Management Bodies and key electoral processes. Although the Western Balkans have largely strengthened their legal frameworks in a manner that is accessible and aspires to respect OSCE commitments and international obligations in the letter of the law, several fundamental aspects continue to pose challenges.