Parliament sets up its Election Observation Group

Parliament has set up its Election Observation Group for the 7th legislature. The group, of 13 MEPs, will be co-chaired by Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gabriele Albertini (EPP, IT), and Development Committee Chair Eva Joly (Greens/EFA, FR). Its first assignment will be to observe the January 2010 presidential elections in Ukraine.

The election observation group of the European Parliament is composed by:

  • Ignacio Salafranca (EPP, ES)
  • Filip Kaczmarek (EPP, PL)
  • Andrzej Grzyb (EPP, PL)
  • Luis Yanez Barnuevo (S&D, ES)
  • Véronique de Keyser (S&D, BE)
  • Michael Cashman (S&D, UK)
  • Fiona Hall (ALDE, UK)
  • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (ALDE, DE)
  • Martin Callanan (ECR, UK)
  • Gabriele Zimmer (GUE/NGL, DE)
  • Bastiaan Belder (EFD, NL).

After observing presidential election in Ukraine, in the first half of 2010, MEPs are considering sending delegations to observe parliamentary elections in Tajikistan (28 February), presidential elections in Togo (28 February), presidential elections in Ivory Coast (February/March); presidential and parliamentary elections in Sudan (11 April), parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka (April, date not yet fixed), and parliamentary elections in Ethiopia (23 May).

MEPs are also likely to observe parliamentary elections in Afghanistan and presidential and parliamentary elections in Palestine (dates not yet fixed). Before undertaking electoral missions, MEPs will have to sign a code of conduct requiring them, inter alia, to "maintain strict political impartiality" and "to refrain from making comments to the public or to the media" before election day.

This group aims to guarantee legal democratic processes in other countries by attending to the elections as an impartial observer.