It has been the 18th time so far that the Annual Conference of the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) was organized. In 2009 participants of the professional yearly gathering discussed the ‘Judicial protections of electoral rights’.
On the 18th Annual Conference 15 ACEEEO member countries’ representatives were present. All together with these ACEEEO member countires participants have come from 32 countries from all over the world. Within this more than 150 participants we were glad to welcome also representatives of different international organizations, such as for example IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems), OSCE/ODIHR, European Commission, International IDEA, UNDP, USAID and also representative of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.
Beside the new methods the conference also gave the possibility to discuss more scientific parts of the election processes: with the leadership of Mr. Andras Keil, researcher of the Hungarian “Republikon Intézet” (Republican Institute) sociologists from 5 different countries were discussing the reasons of regressing participation in elections by analyzing voters’ habits in election processes. The participating sociologists have drafted their final recommendations that are also available on the Association’s website.
On the third conference day, the General Assembly meeting of the Association took place (5th September 2009) together with exposition of the “Recommendations of the 18th ACEEEO conference regarding the Judicial Protections of Electoral Rights”. In the frame of the General Assembly meeting the professional and financial annual report of the Association were presented, and the General Assembly voted for the place of the upcoming Executive Board meeting in 2010 and the for the place and subject of the 19th annual conference of the Association. One of the most important results of the General Assembly meeting was the acceptance of setting up a Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) that in 2010-2011 would work out the refreshment of the strategy of the Association to the following 5 years’ period. According to the decision of the General Assembly the 19th annual conference of the Association will be held in Georgia, in September 2009, and the subject in focus is going to be the analysis of the voters’ registration. It will be in Georgia then that the results of the 2 years long project of the Association, entitled: “Developing accurate voters’ list in transitional democracies”, supported by the UNDEF will be presented to the public. A decision was made also of the place of the 20th jubilee anniversary conference of the ACEEEO that will be organized in Budapest, Hungary in 2011.
The annual conference of 2009 of the ACEEEO elucidated more the important impartial and non-political role of the Association in the political life of Europe. Guests and delegations of the conference had to leave all their political related conflicts that might exist between some countries outside of the borders of Armenia. Thanks to Mr. Sweeny, the new president of the IFES, the most important quality of the Association was emphasized several times during the discussions. This so important value stands in the equal rights of the members of the Association as much as in its functionning that matches to the principles of democracy.