Elections for All: EU Allocated EUR 850,000 for Three New Projects Geared towards Enhanced Civic Engagement and Oversight as an Indispensable Tool for Democratic Electoral Process

 

The European Union finances three new civil society projects in Armenia of a total amount of 850,000 euros on elections preparations and monitoring in Armenia. The projects are financed through the European Initiative for Human Rights and Democracy (EIDHR) budget for Armenia and include activities on civic engagement and awareness raising of first-time voters, women and people with disabilities, recently graduated journalists, general citizens and other key stakeholders as well as a social media monitoring initiative and three different election observation missions. This support runs in parallel with the European Union’s substantive contribution to the Election Basket Fund (the Contribution Agreement signed on 14 November 2018 to the amount of 1,500,000 euros) that aims at strengthening the election administration system in preparation to early parliamentary elections on 9 December 2018.

The European Union is supporting these efforts with a view to offer space for citizens to engage in electoral activities and contribute to more democratic elections in Armenia. The observations and analysis of the electoral process by civil society organisations will be shared throughout the electoral process and help Armenians in keeping well-informed about the elections preparations, the conduct of elections across the country as well as some of the impediments identified before, on elections day and after.   After elections each project will develop an analytical paper on the electoral experience in Armenia and their recommendations and reflections, which will be shared both within and outside of Armenia to share more information about the contemporary political and electoral context in Armenia and include this in international discussions on electoral reforms.

Detailed information about the projects is available in the hyperlinked titles below.

Brief Information about the EU-funded Projects

  1. Electoral Preparation and Monitoring by Civil Society Organisations in Armenia: #Elections4All

With the financial support from the European Union, Elections4All project will contribute, promote and realise a fundamental human right – the right to vote - through a coordinated engagement of civil society organisations and citizens in preparing for and monitoring the election process in Armenia ahead of, during and after the National Assembly elections on the 9th of December 2018. The project partners will engage citizens, including women, youth, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups of society, directly in elections as observers and have their rights as voters at the centre of all activities.

After elections, the project will publish a study analysing the National Assembly elections from a CSO perspective and some of the more disadvantaged groups of society. This will be a solid contribution to the future discussions on electoral reform in Armenia and how to create an enabling environment for even more inclusive, credible and transparent election cycles in Armenia.

  1. Building Capacities for Observation and Promoting the Integrity of Parliamentary Elections in Armenia

With the financial support from the European Union (EU), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), US Agency for International Development (USAID) / National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Foundations – Armenia (OSFA) the Transparency International Anticorruption Center (TIAC) in partnership with European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) will implement an electoral project.

This project attempts to contribute to the creation of a favourable environment for conduct of elections in Armenia that corresponds to international standards and fundamental human rights commitments. This implies work of a professional team that will prepare observation of the elections based on the best international practices and advanced methodologies, including sample-based observation and engagement of citizens who wish to be involved as observers.

The project will enhance cooperation between the implementing partners, which will contribute to the capacity building of Armenian experts working for and with TI-AC and contribute to further professionalisation of domestic observation in Armenia.

  1. ENEMO International Observation Mission for the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Armenia

The project is designed to organize an observation mission to observe and provide recommendations for the upcoming elections in December 2018. Elections have been one of the most disputed policy areas in Armenia; hence, there will be a lot of international, European and Armenian interest in the upcoming elections exercise. This project aims to support Armenia’s efforts to harmonize the Armenian electoral framework with international standards and recommendations and providing citizens and civil society information from an observation mission purely led by election experts from the region. The observation mission by the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) will conduct an overall assessment of the pre- and post-electoral process, in line with international standards for election observations.

The project will support to civil society organizations (CSO) to carry out activities to advance political rights, civic engagement, democratic reform and dialogue. The project will have important elements of supporting gender equality, the rights of persons belonging to minorities, the rights of persons with disabilities and freedom of belief, expression and thought.