CoE Handbook International Standards 2017

The right to free elections is guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights. Of all the democratic safeguards against the abuse of political power, it is one of the most fundamental. The ability of individuals to express their identities and choices peacefully, at the ballot box, is central to stability in any society, and so to Europe’s democratic security too.
The tasks performed by election observers are therefore extremely important. Elections must be prepared with diligence and integrity, and observers must perform their duties in an unbiased and transparent manner. Their presence and professionalism helps ensure the confidence of voters, as well as of the international community. The Council of Europe and our partner organisations therefore strive to assist organisations conducting observations to do so to the highest standards.



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