AEGEE Election Observation
AEGEE Election Observation provides a youth perspective on elections in Europe. We do this by deploying young people on election observation missions to specifically assess youth engagement.This is important because young people are underrepresented in elections across Europe. We want to understand why.Our vision is to use the findings of our missions to compile the world’s first comprehensive comparative index of youth engagement in elections.
This data will enable policymakers, organisations and individuals to understand the reasons behind low youth participation, and to take action to engage the next generation in electoral processes. Some issues in elections exclusively impact young people. Understanding these issues requires a youth perspective backed by comparative and verified data.
To achieve our vision, our election experts are creating the unprecedented Manual for the Observation of Youth in Electoral Processes. This publication is inspired by the methodology of the OSCE/ODIHR, a world authority in election observation.
We train and deploy those who are best-placed to assess youth engagement – young people themselves. Our observers undertake research prior to deployment, and collect vital on-the-ground information on youth participation. They share their experiences and findings in line with our methodology in order to provide a youth perspective grounded in international best practice for election observation, expressed through the Final Report produced after the mission.
Since our founding in 2013, we have deployed over 300 observers on 10+ missions across Europe. We are now maximising the value of future missions by refining our observation methodology.
We are presently seeking to expand our funding base in order to accelerate our progress to understanding the underrepresentation of young people in electoral processes.
In particular, the project has the following aims:
- Organise observation missions to democratic processes taking place in European countries, offering young people the opportunity to be officially accredited election observers.
- Establish election observation as a standard for the internal democratic procedures of AEGEE-Europe.
For these purposes, the project organises the following activities:
- Observation missions to elections in Ukraine, Bosnia and Moldova, and to the referendum in Scotland;
- Independent task forces observing AEGEE internal elections at the Spring Agora Pátra and the Autumn Agora Cagliari
- Observation missions to elections in Estonia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Ukraine and other countries;
- Independent task forces observing AEGEE internal elections at the Spring Agora Oviedo and the Autumn Agora Kyïv;
- Annual election observation training for future observers;
The idea for this project was born in October 2013 in Warsaw, where an AEGEE delegation took part in the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). After a meeting with ODIHR officials, who encouraged AEGEE to develop an initiative of its own, some of the delegation members decided that they would try to make election observation one of AEGEE’s standard activities. A first beginning was made when 21 observers were sent on a short-term mission to the presidential elections in Ukraine, 25 May 2014. Since the Autumn Agora in Cagliari that ended on 2 November 2014, the project was officially included in AEGEE-Europe’s active portfolio and is scheduled to run for two years.
Are you a young citizen of a European (not only EU) country and interested in participating in our project?
You can be:
- an election observer on one of our missions;
- a participant in one of our trainings;
- an active collaborator to our project.
Please check our website for more information, and in case of questions, never hesitate to contact us directly!