This site has been archived on 5 September 2016

Key Publications

The publications listed here have been produced / funded by the European Commission. They represent an essential first list of reading material on election related topics.

3rd Edition of the Handbook for EU Election Observation

This third edition provides updated practical guidelines for EU observers and core team. In particular it provides more guidance on specific areas of assessment, such as voter registration (including use of biometrics), campaign finance, online election-related content, new election technologies and participation of persons with disabilities. It also brings up to date the functioning of a mission in the field, including on security, deployment and reporting.

 PDF files pdf - 5 MB [5 MB]


Compendium of International Standards for Elections

This compendium aims to assist EU Election Observation Missions and other interested stakeholders in clearly identifying the international standards to use in assessing the conduct of elections. To facilitate such assessment, a practical guide has been included as an annex. It is the Commission’s expectation that EU Election Observation Missions will make use of this new tool to assess the conduct of elections in line with international standards and ensure coherence among EU Election Observation Missions.

PDF files pdf - 871 KB [871 KB]

2nd Edition of the Handbook for EU Election Observation

This second edition has been thoroughly revised to take into account advances in the European Union’s methodology for observing and assessing an election process. It highlights that the European Union approach is based on international human rights standards, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The handbook also underlines that EU EOMs adhere to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, a landmark document commemorated at the United Nations in 2005. The handbook explains the criteria used in deciding whether to observe an election, the steps taken to establish an EOM, and how a mission functions.

PDF files pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] español (es) français (fr)

EC Methodological Guide on Electoral Assistance

The Commission’s Methodological Guide on Electoral Assistance is part of the ongoing effort to place electoral assistance more firmly within the framework of democratic development and to become a pillar of the support to governance. The Guide develops the strategic operational framework in the field of electoral assistance, in order to rationalize and make Commission interventions more homogeneous, effective and in harmony with overall EU objectives. This Guide was prepared to offer all Commission staff and others whose work requires specific knowledge of particular EU electoral assistance issues a tool to assist them with the policy and strategic framework in this area, issues and entry points for activities, as well as resources for their formulation and implementation.

PDF files pdf - 6 MB [6 MB] español (es) français (fr)

A Handbook for EU Election Observation Missions

Democracy is not just about elections, but genuine elections are a necessary condition for democracy. EUEOMs have the task of observing and reporting on an election process in its entirety, enhancing transparency and providing an impartial assessment. This handbook is intended as a tool and a reference book with methodological guidelines and practical recommendations.

PDF files pdf - 507 KB [507 KB] español (es) français (fr)

The Work of Domestic Election Observer Groups Around the World

Civil society is a vitally important outlet for democratic activity and civil society groups are central partners in the promotion and defence of democratic development – from Latin America to Asia and from Europe to Africa. The aim of this publication is to highlight the work done by domestic election observers around the world, in terms of their scrutiny of the electoral process and their support for increased transparency and accountability in the political processes in their respective countries.

PDF files pdf - 547 KB [547 KB]

Communication from the European Commission on EU Election Assistance and Observation

After years of ad hoc electoral support, this Communication to the Parliament, issued in 2000, represents a watershed in the way the EC approached electoral support, defining assistance and observation as two complementary and synergetic components. The development of the observation methodology that currently underpins EU EOMs originated from this Communication.

PDF files pdf - 264 KB [264 KB]

Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation

This Declaration of Principles promulgated in 2005 set forth the criteria underpinning credible international observation missions. It represents a very significant achievement in the establishment of better coordination mechanisms among various international observation institutions and in the adoption of common standards and roles of conduct.

PDF files pdf - 82 KB [82 KB]