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					                                   EC – NEEDS Guidelines, Templates and Examples


                                EOM CORE TEAM WEEKLY REPORTS

                                                       Guidelines



Related Documents

Generic template: Generic Template: Core Team Weekly Report

Example: Sample Document: Core Team Weekly Report, Sans Serif




Each EU EOM will produce regular Weekly Reports. As their name suggests, these reports are produced on a weekly
basis by the core team to provide a continuing overview of all relevant electoral developments during the reporting
period. They are a crucial output of the mission and should be a key focus of the work of the core team throughout
the course of the mission.

In some instances, EU EOM core teams may be authorized by DG RELEX to report on a less frequent but still
regularly scheduled basis. In such cases, the reports will be entitled Interim Reports. Interim Reports will follow the
same format and contain the same types of information as Weekly Reports. For the purposes of these guidelines, the
term ‘Weekly Reports’ will be used to refer to either Weekly reports or Interim Reports.

A:       Purpose of Weekly Reports
B:       Target Audience for Weekly Reports
C:       Preparation of Weekly Reports
         ▪ Drafting Phase
         ▪ Comments Phase
         ▪ Final Versions
D:       Timing of Weekly Reports
         ▪ Spot Reports and Mission Updates
         ▪ Mission Operational Reports
E:       Weekly Reports: a ‘How To’ Guide
         ▪ General Guidelines
         ▪ Language of Reports
         ▪ Executive Summary
         ▪ Topics to be Covered


A:       Purpose of Weekly Reports

Weekly Reports have the following purposes:

        to give an overview of the background and technical framework of the election(s) being observed;

        to provide updated information and analysis on all issues relevant to the electoral process, including:
         o legal framework;
         o election administration;
         o voter registration;
         o candidate registration;
         o campaign environment;

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         o   media environment;
         o   complains and appeals;
         o   role of women;
         o   role of minorities; and
         o   civil society activities;

        to provide documents that may be useful for an understanding of the elections being observed (e.g., a map of
         the country, tables of data on constituencies, background information on candidates or parties, election
         results, etc.);

        to highlight areas of concern that may require political action by EU structures;

        to provide a basis for the findings and conclusions the EU EOM will make in its Preliminary Statement and
         Final Report, which are public documents;

        to raise the profile and awareness of the mission within EU structures.

B:       Target Audience for Weekly Reports

Weekly Reports are internal EU documents. They are not to be distributed publicly or to any persons or
organisation outside the EU structures. They are exclusively aimed at the following readership:

        European Commission Directorate for External Relations (RELEX), specifically:
         o Elections Unit (B1);
         o the relevant RELEX Country/Regional Desk;
         o Cabinet of the Commissioner for External Relations;
         o Delegation of the European Commission to the country being observed;

        European Commission Directorate for Development, specifically
         o Europe Aid (AIDCO);

        European Union Member States (EU MSs), specifically:
          EU Presidency;
          All Ministries of Foreign Affairs of EU MSs, including: election focal points and country/regional desks;
          Embassies and diplomatic representations of EUMSs present in the country being observed;

        European Parliament (EP) specifically:
         o EP Coordination Unit for Elections Observation;
         o EP Foreign Affairs Committee;
         o EP Development Committee;
         o Members of the EP with an interest in the country being observed;

        EU Election Observation Mission, including:
         o Chief Observer;
         o core team;
         o LTO teams.

As internal reports, and with these audiences in mind, Weekly Reports should be considered as confidential
documents whose contents have political and diplomatic implications. If a Weekly Report is ‘leaked’, it could cause
harm to the credibility of the EU EOM if its contents are misrepresented or selectively quoted. ‘Leaked’ reports
could cause even more harm if they appear to contain premature assessments or appear to be based on partisan or
unverified sources.

Weekly Reports should therefore be drafted carefully to ensure that all information provided is accurate, objective
and, as far as possible, verifiable. The Weekly Reports should avoid making premature conclusions. The Weekly
Reports should simply report on facts and stress that its analysis of those facts is preliminary. Where factual


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                                                             Page 2
information is unverified or from a partisan source, the report should clearly indicate it as such. The EU EOM should
also have concrete examples to substantiate all that it reports on.

Diplomatic Briefings

After the Weekly Report has been approved in Brussels, it is common for the EU EOM to provide a briefing on its
contents to the local Heads of Mission of EU MSs and the EC Delegation.

Sharing with LTOs and STOs

As official EU documents, copies of the Weekly Reports are not formally provided to LTOs and STOs. However, it is
good practice for the Observer Coordinator to provide LTOs with edited versions of the contents of the Weekly
Reports, which can also be used as the basis for STO briefings on electoral developments.

C:      Preparation of the Weekly Reports

Each Weekly Report should go through a three stage preparation process.

Drafting Phase

The Weekly Reports are drafted by the Deputy Chief Observer based on contributions from core team members.
The Weekly Report should incorporate key regional information or trends identified in LTO reporting.

The drafting of the Weekly Report should go through a consultative process within the core team led by the DCO.
However, ultimate responsibility for the content of the draft Weekly Reports rests with the CO.

Comments Phase

Following CO approval of the draft, the DCO should send a copy of the Weekly Report to the RELEX Elections Desk
Officer (EDO) for comments on content or structure. The EDO comments provide a positive contribution based on
extensive experience from other missions. A key role of the EDO is to maintain consistency in evaluations and
assessments among reports from different EU EOMSs.

The EDO may consult within the European Commission (including the local EC Delegation) for their comments. On
many occasions, the comments from the EDO may ask for clarification on the issues raised in the Weekly Report,
which may require re-drafting. Generally, this stage is a consensual process; the CO and DCO normally incorporate
the comments received from the EDO into the final draft of the Weekly Report.

Final Version

After the inclusion of comments or any immediate updates, the final version of the Weekly Report is sent by the
DCO to the EDO.

The final version of the Weekly Report will be distributed to all EC structures by RELEX and to the EU Member
States and other recipients through the EU Presidency. Officially, the local EC Delegation will receive the Weekly
Report through RELEX and local EU Member States will receive the Weekly Report through their capitals. However,
the EU EOM may distribute the final version at a diplomatic briefing but should not do so without first consulting with
the EDO.

D:      Timing of Weekly Reports

Weekly Reports should cover a fixed seven-day period (e.g., Saturday to Friday) and drafts are normally completed on
a regular day of the week (e.g., Saturday). Core team contributions will need to be submitted to the DCO sufficiently
in advance to meet the required schedule.

The timing of the Weekly Reports should be incorporated into the Mission Calendar and should reflect the reporting
schedule for LTOs, i.e., LTO weekly reporting should be scheduled to reach the core team in sufficient time to ensure
the information can be included in the core team Weekly Reports.

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                                                           Page 3
The timing and production of Weekly Reports can also be affected by seasonal events or observance of religious
holidays or even the ‘weekends’ of different cultures. The DCO and RELEX Desk Officer should discuss in advance
the timing for the dispatch of Weekly Reports to Brussels, as well as the timeframe for comments from the different
EC structures.

Weekly Reports will be required as a priority activity even during periods of high-intensity activity in a mission (e.g.,
the arrival of LTOs and STOs).

Spot Reports and Mission Updates

Where appropriate, the EU EOM may produce Spot Reports covering important developments that should be
brought to the urgent attention of the EU Structures. These reports supplement but should not replace Weekly
Reports.

As necessary, the DCO can also produce regular Mission Updates for the EDO that cover electoral developments
during the periods between Interim Reports.

Mission Operational Reports

The EU EOM may be asked by AIDCO to produce Mission Operational Reports (MOR) covering logistical issues,
especially the work of the Implementing Partner or Service Provider. MORs are usually produced by the EU EOM’s
Operations and Security Experts in consultation with the DCO. The MORs are EC-internal documents which are
sent directly to AIDCO, copied to RELEX, only.

E:       Weekly Reports: a ‘How To’ Guide

The aim of this section is to provide guidelines for the format, structure and content of Weekly Reports.

General Guidelines

As with all reports intended to be read and appreciated by their target audiences, Weekly Reports should be:

        clear;
        concise;
        comprehensive; and
        consistent.

Weekly Reports should not exceed seven pages, including one page for an executive summary. Annexes of tables,
maps or diagrams should not exceed an extra three pages.

Weekly Reports should follow a standard format that includes:

         standard EU EOM logos;
         times New Roman, font size 12;
         consistent use of headings;
         footnotes using Times New Roman font size 10.

Draft versions of the Weekly Reports should be prepared in Word. Final Versions of the Weekly Reports should be
distributed only in PDF format.

Language of Reports

Weekly Reports are produced in the official language of the mission and also in English if another language is being
used.




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Weekly Reports are aimed at audiences that are not necessarily technical election experts or experts on the country
being observed. As such, Weekly Reports should avoid using technical jargon. Acronyms or abbreviations should
initially be written in full, e.g., the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM).

Executive Summary

The executive summary highlights the key information provided by the Interim/Weekly Report and should be drafted
so that it can ‘stand-alone’ as a comprehensive briefing on election developments in the country being observed.
Many senior EU officials will not have time to read beyond the Executive Summary.

The executive summary should follow a bullet point format, where each bullet is a complete paragraph. A separate
bullet should be developed for each key development or issue area being reported upon by the mission.

Topics to be Covered

The template for Weekly Reports follows essentially the same headings that will be included in the EU EOM’s
Preliminary Statement and Final Report. Consistent use of the template will therefore simplify preparation of those
documents. Nevertheless, the template may be modified as appropriate to take into account mission specificities.

All of the headings on the template (listed below) do not have to be included in every Weekly Report. Most of the
topics listed should be included each week, but some will be most relevant for the initial weekly report (e.g.,
‘background’, ‘legal framework’), while others may not be relevant until late in the mission’s tenure (e.g., ‘polling and
counting’).

The content of the Weekly Report can include:

       Background
        o Give basic background on and significance of the elections being observed;
        o Provide general information on the country that may be relevant to the election, e.g., population,
           administrative divisions, ethnic or religious divisions, human rights record, economic conditions;
        o Outline briefly the form of government and the importance of the office(s) being elected;
        o Summarise the key issues or conclusions from previous elections;
        o Describe any recent developments of particular importance to the election.

       Legal Framework
        o Outline briefly the legislative framework for the elections, including an initial assessment of whether it
           provides the basis for a democratic election;
        o Mention any key strengths or problems of the legislation;
        o Describe the electoral system and, if relevant, the constitutional structure of the country;
        o Note any other laws that may affect the election (e.g., laws on citizenship, demonstrations, political
           parties);

       Election Administration
        o Outline the structure and composition of the election management bodies;
        o Provide information on electoral preparations (e.g., recruitment and training of staff, printing of ballots);
        o Provide analysis on whether the election administration at each level operates effectively, transparently
           and impartially;
        o Assess whether the election administration enjoys the confidence of political actors;
        o Report on the election administration’s relations with political parties/candidates;
        o Comment on how well the election administration is cooperating with the EU EOM;
        o Report on voter education activities.

       Voter Registration
        o Outline the procedures used for registering voters;
        o Provide data on numbers of voters;
        o Report whether the voter lists have been publicly posted and made available to candidates/parties;
        o Describe whether the lists enjoy public confidence;


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    o   Report on any persistent problems with the lists;
    o   Assess the quality of the voter lists.

   Registration of Candidates
    o Outline the procedures used to register candidates;
    o Assess how candidate registration was conducted and whether all prospective candidates were treated
       impartially and equally;
    o Assess whether any conditions for registration are unreasonable (e.g., language requirements, excessive
       number of signatures required);
    o Highlight any problems with the registration process, particularly if seemingly legitimate candidates were
       refused registration;
    o Provide data on the candidates and parties registered or refused (including number of women
       candidates).

   Campaign Environment
    o Give brief descriptions of the main candidates/political parties and other key actors in the electoral
      process, both incumbent and major opposition;
    o Describe campaign activities by the candidates/parties;
    o Assess whether candidates, parties and citizens are free to campaign without fear of violence, intimidation
      or reprisals;
    o Report whether security services are behaving appropriately;
    o Report any election related detentions, harassment, violence or other human rights violations;
    o Report any use of inflammatory language or provocations;
    o Assess whether public resources are being used for campaigning and, if so, whether this is done to the
      advantage of the incumbents;
    o Note any key issues or party platforms in the campaign (e.g., does any platform have a major impact on
      future relations with the international community?);
    o Describe campaign events attended by EU EOM members;
    o Report any interesting polling data;
    o Comment on relevant campaign financing issues;
    o Provide analysis on meetings with political actors.

   Media Environment
    o Outline the legal framework for media coverage of the election;
    o Describe relevant issues relating to the general media environment (e.g., state control, private ownership,
      restrictions on freedoms);
    o Assess the relative importance of television, radio and the print media;
    o List the media to be monitored;
    o Assess regularly the extent to which candidates and parties have equal access to the media;
    o Assess whether the media as a whole provide sufficient, varied information to enable voters to make an
      informed choice;
    o Report any attacks on journalists or harassment of media outlets;
    o Report on the media’s role in voter education;
    o Describe and assess the work of media regulatory bodies;
    o Report preliminary findings of the EOM’s media monitoring programme.

   Complaints and Appeals
    o Outline the framework for election-related complaints and appeals;
    o Describe the numbers and types of complaints filed, noting especially any pattern of complaints;
    o Mention any specific cases of particular significance and their status or outcomes;
    o Assess whether the complaints and appeals mechanisms operate independently, impartially and effectively;
    o Assess whether candidates and parties have confidence in the complaint and appeals mechanisms;
    o Assess whether the complaint and appeals mechanisms provide effective remedies to complainants.

   Participation of Women
    o Assess the extent of women’s participation in the election as candidates, party activists and citizens;
    o Analyse any direct or indirect obstacles to women’s full participation;


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                                                       Page 6
        o    Describe women’s role in the election administration;
        o    Assess whether candidates/political parties are addressing issues of particular interest to women;
        o    Assess media coverage of women candidates;
        o    Assess whether sufficient voter education is addressed at women.

       Participation of Minorities
        o List any significant minority groups and describe generally the situation of minorities in the country;
        o Assess the extent of minorities’ participation in the election as candidates, party activists and citizens;
        o Analyse any direct or indirect obstacles to minority participation, in particular whether minorities face
           discrimination;
        o Note the extent to which members of minorities are involved in the election administration;
        o Assess whether sufficient voter education is addressed at minorities;
        o Describe whether ballots and other election materials are produced in minority languages.

       Civil Society
        o Comment on how active civil society is in the country;
        o Describe any plans by domestic non-partisan observers to observe the election;
        o Describe any other election related activities by civil society groups (e.g., human rights monitoring, voter
            education, special issue campaigns).

       Polling and Counting (This heading will usually be included only for post-election reports, although it may be
        included in other reports for countries that permit early voting.)
        o Provide overview of observers’ findings on the counting process (this information is usually not available
             for the Preliminary Statement) including possible statistical data;
        o Provide an overview of observers’ findings on the procedures for the tabulation and announcement of
             results, including possible statistical data from observer reports;
        o Provide overview of the procedures for the publication of results;
        o Give the preliminary/final results (this will probably also merit a spot report);
        o Describe reaction of political actors to the results;
        o Analyse the political consequences of the results.

       Security Situation
        o Outline the general security situation in the country and especially any election-related security issues;
        o Identify any specific risks facing EU EOM and steps taken to address them;
        o Describe any election-related violence;
        o Assess the effectiveness of the security forces;
        o Provide update on emerging election-related security issues.

       Mission Activities
        o Provide relevant information on the mission (e.g., meetings held by the Chief Observer, significant rallies
           attended, press conferences);
        o Comment on any significant LTO deployment issues;
        o Provide continuing updates on preparations for STOs;
        o Report on status of locally recruited observers;
        o In the post election period, describe reactions to the mission’s Preliminary Statement.

       Annexes
        o Provide any relevant annexes, (e.g., maps, lists of political parties, background on candidates).
        o Annexes generally should not exceed three pages for any single Weekly Report.

The bullets above are not necessarily an exclusive list; mission specific items can be inserted as necessary.

The mission’s final Weekly Report may require only a few of the headings listed above. In addition to the points
listed, the final Weekly Report should:

        Announce the closure of the EU EOM;
        Offer thanks and acknowledgement to the local EC delegation and to EU MS Embassies;

                                         EC – NEEDS Guidelines, Templates and Examples
                                                            Page 7
   Update the post-election political situation;
   Describe the status of any unresolved complaints;
   Mention any continuing repercussions from the EU EOM Preliminary Statement.




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