The Agenda of the Constanta Conference is available here.

Similar electoral event had never happened before in Romania therefore big attention was received by election stakeholders of the country and also in the Romanian press. Mr. Cristian David, the Minister of Interior graced the opening ceremony with his presence and he gave a press conference after his speech, together with the hosts and the ACEEEO Secretary General.

In the frame of the opening ceremony on 11 September also an election technology exhibition was opened. The election technology exhibition was an important feature of our event since it gave unique opportunity for election stakeholders to get acquainted with the latest solutions available for election management bodies to facilitate their work during the entire election process.

The first day was dedicated to plenary sessions and discussions on security aspects of elections, including the role of law enforcement organs as well as the security and accuracy of voting materials. During four sessions nineteen election experts and practitioners shared their thoughts and experience with the audience (see the enclosed program). They gave excellent input to discussions that took place after the plenary sessions and during the workshops on the second day. In the course of the evening reception, participants not only tasted local specialities but learned about Romanian folk culture, folk dance.

Following our tradition from previous years, we organized two workshops to ensure participants will deepen their knowledge of the topic they are most interested in. To give more inputs to the discussions, there were two keynote speeches before the workshops: one addressed key issues of information technology security, the other one dealt with the role of law enforcement organs. Workshop attendants were having a talk for three hours trying to share their own countries’ practice and to find common elements. The workshop moderators summarized the workshop’ content on a plenary session that allowed participants to hear what happened on the session they could not attend. Besides the plenary presentations, the workshop summaries served as a basis for drafting recommendations regarding the main theme of the conference.

One of the most important events of the conference took place on the morning of the third day that was dedicated to discussions on recent elections held in our region and on the forthcoming European Parliamentary elections. Sam Younger, the Chairman of the UK Electoral Commission held his keynote speech before the country reports, focusing on the preparations being made by the UK Commission regarding the 2009 June EP Elections. Representatives of the relevant election commissions gave an account of their activities accomplished on the last elections including their efforts to turn the electorate onto elections.

Considering that there were many professional issues that could not be discussed in the frame of plenary sessions and workshops, we arranged an Election Cafe on the hotel foyer and terrace to facilitate private talks between election professionals and practitioners. There was a desk in the Cafe where participants could obtain conference materials, discussion papers as well as logistics information from local assistants.

The plenary session preceding the closing session was devoted to presentations on educational and training opportunities for election stakeholders, as well as on organizational issues of the ACEEEO. On the closing session the conference participants adopted the conclusions and recommendations.