The strength and added value of EU election observation missions is given by the fact that they are based on a robust and comprehensive methodology, which is the warrant of its credibility.
Its fundamental principles of independence, impartiality, consistency, long-term approach and professionalism are set out in the 2000 communication from the European Commission on EU election assistance and observation. They cover all phases of the election cycle: pre-election, election day, and immediate post-election.
EU election observation missions do not interfere in the organisation of the election itself. Instead, they collect and analyse factual information concerning the election process and provide an independent public assessment.
More on EU methodology as well as international standards and best practices for democratic elections can be downloaded from the following page of reading material on election-related topics (in particular the handbook for EU election observation):