The legal framework developed by the Council of Europe is the backbone of any electoral process in our member states and covers the way legislation is developed and how it is improved in the light of previous elections.

Electoral law must include such elements as the design of the electoral system, the composition of the electoral administration, the mapping of electoral districts and the organisation of voting operations, whatever the type of election.

The legal framework ranges from binding obligations to guidelines and codes of conduct.

Committee of Ministers:

  • The Committee of Ministers is the Council of Europe’s decision-making body.
  • It is this body that decides new Council of Europe legislation in the form of conventions or recommendations.
  • It supervises how countries are meeting their obligations to the European Convention on Human Rights and implementing judgments by the European Court of Human Rights. 

European Court of Human Rights:

Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights:

  • The department advises the Committee of Ministers in supervising how countries are enacting judgments of the Court and helps member states to achieve full, effective and prompt execution of judgments.

Parliamentary Assembly Election Observation and Interparliamentary Co-operation Division:

Congress – Observation of Local and Regional Elections:

  • The Congress follows up election observation reports approved by its monitoring committee and adopted at Congress plenary sessions, tracking recurring and transversal thematic issues and engaging in post-electoral dialogue

European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission):

The European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG):

Elections and Participatory Democracy Division:

  • The division follows up recommendations by the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress, the Venice Commission and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) .

Gender Equality Division: