Brussels, 3 February 2022(TDI): For Colombia, the European Union (EU) has deployed an Election Observation Mission within the country.

A tweet was posted by the Union’s External Action Service through their official Twitter account today about the mission deployment.

This was done following the request from the Colombian National Civil Registry Office as well as the National Council. The mission was deployed to observe the legislative elections and the election that is to take place within the country on the 13th of March and 29th of May, respectively.

Appointment of the Chief Observer

Javi Lopez, a member of the European Parliament has been appointed as  Chief Observer of the Mission in Colombia. His appointment was made by the Vice-President and high representative of foreign affairs as well as the European Commission’s vice president, Joseph Borrell.

Elections in Columbia and EU

According to the EU Vice President, the 2022 elections in Colombia are the second elections that are happening after the 2016 Peace Agreement was signed. These elections are significant as they represent important milestones especially when there are  16 representatives elected within the Special Transitional Peace Constituencies.

These seats that were absent before in the House of Representatives give an opportunity for those historically excluded victims as a result of being victims of regions characterized by increasing conflict. This EU mission is a representation of the support and desire for peace in Columbia.

Statement from Chief Observer

Javi Lopez, the Chief Observer said that this important step will mark the first instance of the EU deploying an Election Observation Mission within Colombia. He expressed his gratitude for this position and responsibility. He expressed his hope to promote and establish a democratic system that will be largely transparent and will ensure equality.

EU Elections Observation Mission
Flag of Colombia
More Insight on the Mission

The EU observer mission is comprised of various groups of observers from Columbia. The core team, which will consist of election analysts, will reside in Bogota. This will be a ten-member team that will continue to remain in the country from the 25th of January 2022. These teams and observers will be analyzing various aspects of the electoral process in Colombia.

Several 34 long-term observers will be placed within the country on the 8th of February 2022. These will reside within different regions to observe and follow up on the political campaigns within the country.

Following this deployment, 40 more overserves who will be in the country on a short-term basis will be deployed on the election days so that the polling, counting, and voting can be observed. The team will be assisted by the other EU diplomats working on this mission within the country to assist them while the election days are in process.

With this, the team deployed from the EU will stay in Colombia until this election process has been completed. Furthermore, following the EU’s methodology on observation of elections, a press conference will be held in Bogota to pass a parliamentary statement shortly following 48 hours of the election day.

The last task of the mission will consist of a report being published, which will also comprise a final assessment in terms of the electoral process and a set of recommendations that could assist in improving the future electoral process.

As for the mission, there was an official agreement signed both by the EU delegation for Colombia and the National Civil Registry, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the National Civil Registry. This document had been made public and can be found here.