Within the framework of the South Programme II, 11 experts from the Southern Mediterranean participated in the 14th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), which was organised by the Venice Commission, in co-operation with the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States on 15-16 May 2017 in St Petersburg.
Representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia were among the 120 participants representing various international organisations, including central electoral commissions and administrations from Europe and beyond. The primary objectives of the conference were to identify ways to improve the functioning of electoral administration and exchange good practices on ensuring the efficiency, visibility and interactivity of the electoral management bodies. The conference, which was structured around a series of plenary and group working sessions, has enabled Southern Mediterranean participants to network and advanced their knowledge about the implementation of international standards and follow-up of democratic elections. The event was concluded with the unanimous adoption of a “St Petersburg Declaration” calling on the EMBs, legislators and political parties to improve legislation and practices in order to secure functional EMBs, and therefore the conduct of democratic elections.
* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Council of Europe member States on this issue.