Professionalisation of national observation of elections by creating training tools and facilities as well as certification of observers became one of the challenges of the Council of Europe.

The need to build capacities of local observers comes from the specific recommendations of election observation mission reports of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR), the Congress of local and regional authorities.

In the past years, the Council of Europe engaged in a number of activities, in particular in Eastern Partnership countries focusing on exchanging opinions and best practices among domestic observer groups at regional level.

Domestic observer groups can specialise in certain aspects of election observation, while the international observers cover the election process as a whole. They can more efficiently than the international observers verify the voter roll, observe the complaint process, document instances of intimidation and human rights abuses, and watch the media. In addition, domestic observers remain in the country after international observers are gone and continue working on improving the electoral process.

Specific trainings are organised for the members of civil society in a given country on:

  • Election report writing
  • International standards in election matters
  • Monitoring of the media
  • Observation of candidate registration
  • Observation of financing of political campaigns
  • Other as requested

Photo: snig /


From 23 to 26 June 2014, the Council of Europe in partnership with the European Humanities University of Vilnius (Lithuania) held a four day E-learning course for 17 trainers from Eastern Partnership countries on the Council of Europe Handbooks for Civil Society Organisations: Reporting on Elections and International Standards in Elections. This pedagogical tool helps the participant meet the course's learning objectives through a self-paced study routine supported by multimedia, optional and required readings, discussion forums, and multiple choice tests. (more...)