Almost exactly 10 years ago, the Association of Central and Eastern European Election Officials (ACEEEO) held its annual conference and General Assembly meeting here in Siófok. At that time the Association had 14 member countries. In 2005, when we organized our conference together with the electoral organizations of the World, representatives of 22 member states were sitting around the table. In 1995, with the exception of the IFES, the international organizations just started to learn the name of the ACEEEO, but in 2005 all of them considered the ACEEEO as a partner organization. We worked all along the last 14 years together, and we were pleased to present the results of the Association on this conference.

Experiences of organizing democratic elections are not limited among bounds and therefore dialogues are extremely important among professional election experts of the five continents. We have to thank our partners for this opportunity: International Foundation for Election Systems (Washington DC, USA), Elections Canada (Ottawa, Canada), the International IDEA (Stockholm, Sweden), Federal Electoral Institute (Mexico City, Mexico) and United Nations Electoral Assistance Division (New York, USA). In 2005, the ACEEEO hosted the 3rd Conference of Global Election Organizations.

This important gathering of election officials and experts from Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe is a testament to your commitment as guardians of democracy, ensuring the integrity and transparency of free and fair elections worldwide. This important GEO conference focused specifically on 2 very topical subjects: 1. Legal issues in the election process; 2. Electronic voting standards. Outside of these important issues, our colleagues exchanged information on day-to-day challenges; issues such as international election standards, transparency, electoral technology, campaign finance reform and citizens' participation in the process.