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AEGEE Election Observation Training
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The AEGEE Election Observation Training aims to empower young people to organise and participate in international election observation missions as Short-Term Observers. Election observation is a core instrument to safeguard the transparency and adequacy of elections not just internationally, but in fact at any level of the democratic society. After successfully sending 121 Short-Term Observers on self-organised Election Observation Missions to Ukraine, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, and Estonia, the AEGEE Election Observation Project, in cooperation with different European partners, is taking its initiative to the next level by providing a comprehensive Training in election observation. The Training has 30 participants from all across Europe, involving in particular young people from countries outside the EU such as Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Russia, making this a truly European initiative covering substantial parts of the OSCE/ODIHR area of action. Participants are youth workers and activists with a personal interest in organising or participating in election observation activities - both internationally and in other, local and national democratic processes. They are required to have a certain level of experience in relevant fields such as political/democratic education or human rights advocacy, and to commit themselves to a continued contribution to election observation activities after the Training. The Training aims to equip its participants with important knowledge in skills in two highly interrelated areas: 1) the difficulties related to the implementation of democratic ideals in political reality, and in particular the challenges related to the organisation of elections, and 2) the concrete standards, methods and procedures of international election observation. Great emphasis is laid on a high methodological standard of non-formal education throughout the Training, putting participation and interaction in front, paying attention to intercultural challenges, and giving participants spaces to express their concerns at regular intervals. The direct result of the project lies in the personal experience of the participants: Not only will they have received important qualifications, but also built a network of friends and colleagues with whom they share common interests, and with whom they are committed to carry out election observation activities in the future. In consequence, the impact of the Training reaches beyond just the personal experience of the participants: They will bring back the initiative to their own communities, introducing the idea and the importance of election observation and democratic transparency, taking part in the organisation of future election observation missions, and motivating other young people to get involved in these activities. As a long-term impact, this Training (that is to be repeated on a yearly basis) is the first step in building a permanent capacity for election observation by young people, laying the foundations for many high-quality election observation missions to come, and making a valuable contribution to a truly democratic Europe.
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