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Southern Mediterranean partners take part in the discussion of “Operational Electoral Management Bodies for Democratic Elections” at the 14th European Conference of EMBs

St Petersburg 15-16 May 2017
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Southern Mediterranean partners take part in the discussion of “Operational Electoral Management Bodies for Democratic Elections” at the 14th European Conference of EMBs

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.

Introduction Introduction

A flagship programme supporting democratic governance in the Southern Mediterranean

Since its start in 2012, the South Programme has been a strategic European Union-Council of Europe initiative supporting democratic reforms in the Southern Mediterranean based on the demand from the partners from the region. From legislative expertise to the strengthening of institutions' capacities, through peer-to-peer exchanges and networks, the South Programme has contributed to the establishment of a common legal area between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The second phase of this ambitious three-year European Union-Council of Europe joint programme started in January 2015. It is namely contributing to the establishment of new legislative and constitutional frameworks and democratic governance structures in the region as well as institutions deriving from them. Besides, the Programme aims to contribute to the establishment of a common legal area through a progressive accession of countries from the Southern Mediterranean region to key Council of Europe conventions, which constitute the foundations for legal cooperation between countries who share common values of respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the 47 Council of Europe member states and beyond.

Through the Council of Europe various intergovernmental and interparliamentary networks, the South Programme II aims to foster better regional cooperation between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean partners, as well as among them, in the fields related to human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

South Programme II brochure



South programme II launch event South programme II launch event



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