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EPDE at the EU Elections: Observing E-Day in Bulgaria and Romania

(June 12, 2024)


From 6 to 10 June 2024, the EPDE organized study trips for election observers to Romania and Bulgaria. The study trips were implemented in close cooperation with local partners Expert Forum (EFOR) in Romania and Institute for Public Environment Development (IPED) in Bulgaria. The trip’s program culminated in observing E-day of the European Parliament Elections 2024 as accredited international observers.

As we reach the midpoint of the 2024 super-election year, EPDE conducted two election observation study trips to Romania and Bulgaria to monitor the European Parliament elections. Teaming up with Expert Forum (EFOR) in Bucharest as part of the VotCorect Coalition, and Institute for Public Environment Development (IPED) in Bulgaria, our accredited observers were able to get to know the political context in the countries, campaigning trends, and overall voter attitude towards the elections.

In Romania, the VotCorect observation coalition reported voter pressures in the areas outside of Bucharest and generally calm atmosphere in the city, despite the intense heat outside. The common challenges included a lack of training for polling station staff, fatigue, and over-complicated closing procedures.

EPDE study trip delegation to Romania

Similar issues were noted in Bulgaria, underlining the critical need for better training of polling stations’ commission members and enhanced voter education. Together with domestic observers, the participants observed election day proceedings both in Sofia and neighbouring regions. During the comprehensive observation trainings, a special emphasis was placed on the electoral system and machine voting.

The EPDE study trips are more than just an observational exercise. They gather dozens of observers from our network of members and partners for international collaboration and exchange of best practices. This strengthens the bonds of democratic solidarity and enhances monitoring expertise across Europe and beyond.

EPDE study trip delegation to Bulgaria, Foto: IPED

We sincerely thank our partners for their great insights into the electoral system, observation techniques, and an in-depth briefings before E-day. A special acknowledgement goes to CommitGlobal for their election observation Vote Monitor app, which allowed observers to provide real-time reports with photos, videos, and updates directly from polling stations, enhancing transparency and accountability in our observations.

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