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Belgium - Electoral issues - 12th European Conference of the Electoral Management Bodies

30/03/2015 - 31/03/2015

Brussels – The role of electoral management bodies in ensuring neutrality, impartiality and transparency in elections was the focus of an international conference which took place in the Palais d’Egmont, Brussels, Belgium, on 30-31 March 2015.

More than 160 participants, representatives of 60 countries and several international institutions – including chairs and members of central electoral commissions and administrations from Europe and beyond – held an exchange of views on the standards for neutral, impartial and transparent elections and good practices addressing the functioning of electoral management bodies, organisers said.

This 12th European Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) Conference, co-organised by the Council of Europe’s constitutional legal experts - the Venice Commission - and the Ministry of Security and Interior of Belgium, concluded by inviting the EMBs, lawmakers and political parties to improve laws and practices in order to provide better guarantees for neutral, impartial and transparent elections. These principles are central to the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters. This Code, which was drafted by the Venice Commission, is the Council of Europe reference document in the field. It was approved by the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and supported by the Committee of Ministers.

Mr Jan Jambon, Vice Prime-Minister and Minister of Security and Interior of Belgium, and Ambassador Astrid Emilie Helle, Permanent Representative of Norway to the Council of Europe, Chair of the Rapporteurs Group on Democracy of the Committee of Ministers opened the Conference. Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, participated as well in the opening panel. Several European Union’s institutions including the European Parliament and the European External Action Service, also attended, as well as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the Organization of American States, the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO), International IDEA and other institutions active in the electoral field.

This activity partially falls in the framework of the Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

For more information: Mr Andrew Cutting, Council of Europe media relations officer, +32 2 235 05 09
Mr Gaël Martin-Micallef, organiser of the event, gael.martin-micallef@coe.int, mob. +33 6 341 993 10.

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