Mr President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament, The human rights situation in Sudan constitutes a continuing worry for the European Union. The shrinking space for civil society organisations and restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly remain among the main areas of our concern. I personally also raised these issues during my visit to Sudan last October.
The European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission to Zimbabwe to observe the harmonised elections, scheduled for 30 July 2018. In total, the mission is expected to comprise about 140 observers from EU member states.
Election observation gives the opportunity to assess an electoral process according to international standards. The EU is a leading global player in providing and financing electoral assistance complementary to election observation.
Upon the invitation of a foreign country organising democratic elections, the EU can decide to deploy an Election Observation Mission to the country's elections in consultation with the European Parliament and Member States.
Each EU missions works in the framework of a comprehensive approach. The mission works in agreement and coordination with the EU Delegations in the same area and in the framework of EU regional policies.