ECES’ Executive Director, Fabio Bargiacchi, just released an interview on Italia Oggi (www.italiaoggi.it) on the European Union (EU) Electoral Assistance activities.
The interview first presents the history of the EU electoral assistance, from the very first interventions during the early nineties, which were focused on a quite ”narrow-minded approach” to the gradual recognition of the complexities of the electoral processes. The adoption of the “Electoral Cycle Approach” precisely represent the shift to a more holistic and long-term approach based on the recognition of the cyclical nature of the electoral processes. At the time of writing, the EU is a prominent actor in the field of electoral assistance having funded to around 200 electoral assistance projects in more than 100 countries.
The interview also describes what “electoral assistance” is. From having been a technical and operational external support to national institutions newly confronted with electoral processes, it gradually became a multifaceted support tailored on the needs of the beneficiary whose ultimate aim is to become “superfluous” by strengthening the ownership of the results and the credibility of national actors.
Lastly, the article, by referring to the “European response to electoral cycle support- EURECS”, the new aid delivery mechanism jointly devised by ECES and the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), it mentions some of the challenges that electoral assistance sector is confronted with. Among these, it is worth to mention the importance of a consistent, clear and updated methodological framework as well as the need of a global evaluation of the results achieved so far through electoral assistance EU funded projects. Furthermore, electoral assistance sector, on the long term, can also benefit from the establishment of long-term agreements with European specialised organisations and of a framework contract equal or similar to the ones already adopted for the implementation of EU Electoral Observation Missions.
The full length interview is available at the following link : http://www.italiaoggi.it/news/dettaglio_news.asp?id=201703151437071974&chkAgenzie=OGGIEUROPA&sez=newsPP&titolo=Assistenza%20elettorale%20Ue:%20Intervista%20al%20Direttore%20ECES