The European Union deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to observe the 25 July general elections after being welcomed to deploy a mission by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). These elections followed for the first time in Pakistan’s history, two elected civilian governments completing their full terms. This was the fifth time the EU deployed an EU EOM to Pakistan. In addition, the EU also deployed an Election Follow-up Mission in 2016.
The mission was present in Pakistan from 24 June 2018 until 23 August 2018 and was led by Chief Observer Michael Gahler, a Member of the European Parliament from Germany. The mission followed the elections to the Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies. It comprised a core team of ten analysts and 60 long-term observers who were deployed across the country. On election day, the EU EOM was reinforced by 41 locally-recruited short-term observers from the diplomatic community from EU member state, Norway, Switzerland and Canada. The EU EOM deployed a total of 122 observers on election day.
On 26 October 2018, the final report was presented to the Pakistan authorities after a press conference in Islamabad. The final report included 30 recommendations to improve future electoral processes, of which eight are considered priorities.