In response to an invitation by the Colombian National Civil Registry Office and the National Election Council, the European Union has decided to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission to observe the country’s legislative election and the presidential election scheduled respectively on 13 March 2022 and on 29 May 2022.
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Javi López, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the 2022 EU Election Observation Mission to Colombia.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: “The 2022 elections in Colombia will be the second ones held since the signing of the 2016 Peace Agreement. They will represent another important milestone as, for the first time, 16 representatives are to be elected in special transitional peace constituencies. These new seats in the House of Representatives can ensure the participation of historically excluded victims in conflict-affected regions. The presence of an Election Observation Mission is another example of our long-standing support of peace and democracy in Colombia.”
The Chief Observer Javi López said: “This will be the first time that the EU deploys an Election Observation Mission in Colombia and I am truly honoured to have been entrusted with this responsibility of leading this important mission. My hope is that our work could help generating confidence and further reinforcing democracy in the country. I look forward to working with all Colombian stakeholders, including state authorities, political parties, candidates, civil society organisations and both national and international election observers, with the goal of promoting and defending democratic values.”
The EU Election Observation Mission to Colombia is composed of different groups of observers. The Core Team of election analysts, based in Bogotá, consists of 10 election experts covering the different aspects of the electoral process and has been in the country since 25 January 2022. On 8 February 2022, 34 long-term observers will join the mission and will be deployed in the regions to follow the political campaign. Thereafter, 40 short-term observers will join the mission around election-days, respectively on 6 March 2022 for the congressional elections and on 23 May 2022for the presidential election, to observe the polling, voting and counting. Other short-term observers recruited within the EU diplomatic community in Colombia would also reinforce the mission during election-days. The EU Election Observation Mission will remain in the country until the completion of the electoral process.
In line with the EU methodology on election observation, the mission will hold a press conference 48 hours after election-day in Bogotá to issue a preliminary statement. Once the entire electoral process is concluded, the mission will publish a final report, including a final assessment of the electoral process and recommendations for reforms to improve future elections.
An administrative arrangement setting out the commitments and responsibilities of its signatories in the framework of this election observation mission was signed between the EU Delegation in Colombia and the National Civil Registry Office, the National Election Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. This document is public and can be downloaded here.