European Union’s Elections Observer Missions (EU EOMs) are led by a Chief Observer and are made up of a core team (composed of a Deputy Chief Observer and a number of electoral experts) as well as long term and short term observers.
The Chief Observer is present in the country at key moments of the mission. Traditionally a Member of the European Parliament, the chief observer has the overall responsibility for the mission, including the final report, and is its only spokesperson.
Core team experts, including the Deputy Chief Observer, support the chief observer, set the analytical framework for the mission, and carry out specific tasks like media monitoring and manage the work of the observers. Core team experts are specialised in legal issues, election administration, human rights and gender security, logistics, media monitoring and public relations. They have a sound experience of EOMs and are recruited via specific calls for applications.
Long-term observers (LTOs) are ideally deployed around one month before election day and remain on the field even after the preliminary results are officially announced to observe the resolution of electoral disputes. They are located throughout the country and observe the unfolding electoral campaign, the conduct of election day and post-election operations. They also address particular issues, such as the use of public resources by candidates as well as wider human rights’ issues such as freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, participation of women in the electoral proces, among others.
Short-term observers (STOs) are deployed to observe the polling day and the early counting of ballots. Both LTOs and STOs are deployed in teams of two and report back to the Core Team. Observers are proposed by EU Member States.
Supporting staff provide the mission with the necessary logistics and security functions the EOM needs to fulfil its mandate and for the day-to-day management of the mission.