European Western Balkans

Lührmann for EWB: EU must address elections in candidates, elections in Serbia were criticised by observers

Anna Lührmann; Photo: European Union

BERLIN – Minister of State for Europe and Climate at the German Federal Foreign Office Anna Lührmann stated for European Western Balkans that her country asked the Council of the European Union to discuss the elections in the candidate countries due to negative developments, including the recent elections in Serbia.

The General Affairs Council (GAC) discussed elections in the candidate countries on Tuesday. In her address to the journalists before the meeting, Minister of State Lührmann said that the elections in Serbia partially motivated the initiative for this discussion.

“Free and fair elections are at the heart of the European Union. They are also part of the Copenhagen Criteria. That’s why we set high standards for electoral processes in candidate countries”, Minister of State Lührmann says for our portal.

She adds that, unfortunately, the German government observed some negative developments in the region.

“For example, elections in Serbia were criticized by independent observers of the OSCE. The EU and its member states must address these problems. That’s why we have asked the General Affairs Council to discuss how to support candidate countries in strengthening their democratic elections”, Lührmann says for European Western Balkans.

As our portal has learned from Brussels, during the discussion in the Council, about ten representatives of Member States from different parts of the EU supported Germany’s initiative. It was suggested that special attention should be paid to the upcoming elections in the candidate states this year and concrete activities were suggested for the EU to support the democratic integrity of the elections.

It was confirmed to us that part of the discussion was related to support for election observers and implementation of ODIHR’s recommendations in the candidate countries.

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