German election experts often join international teams on election observation missions abroad. But this also works the other way round. On Sunday (24 September), election observers from the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (OSCE) were in Germany to keep a close eye on the general election.
Election observers are welcome and election observation is an important instrument
An upside‑down world? Not at all! OSCE election experts travel throughout the OSCE area and keep an eye on the OSCE participating States – including Germany. And that is a good thing. The experts’ recommendations are very welcome, as the OSCE’s election observation is an important instrument for ensuring that elections are free, fair and equal. That is why the German Government invited the OSCE in March 2017 to deploy election observers. It also expects the other OSCE participating States to demonstrate the same transparency.
The OSCE deployed three experts to observe the German general election: team leader Caetana de Zulueta from Italy; Marianna Skopa, a legal/political analyst from Greece; and Dragan Zelić, a campaign finance expert from Croatia.
OSCE Parliamentary Assembly members in Germany for the first time as election observers
Moreover, from 22 to 25 September, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly members visited Germany for the first time as election observers. The mission comprised 56 participants, including 43 parliamentarians from 25 OSCE participating States, who visited polling stations in several German cities on election day to observe the proceedings.
Observations will be published in a report
The three experts are in Germany from 11 to 28 September and will speak with interlocutors from ministries, the public authorities, the Federal Constitutional Court, political parties and civil society. In their final report, which will be published at the latest two months after the election, they will summarise and evaluate their findings and make recommendations.
OSCE election observation is an important routine
Over the past 25 years, the OSCE has taken a close look at over 300 elections in its 57 participating States. Election observation is a routine also in those participating States with an established democracy. The OSCE deployed observers to a German general election for the first time in 2009.