09/05/2023 - 10/05/2023
Bern - the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Swiss Parliament organised an international conference entitled “Elections in times of crisis – challenges and opportunities”. The event was organised in the framework of the 60th anniversary of the accession of Switzerland to the Council of Europe.
The organisers noted that in the last three years, the democracies of Europe have been hit by successive dramatic challenges to the functioning of their democratic institutions. Just as the world was emerging from the unprecedented global shocks of the Covid-19 outbreak, Europe’s peace and stability were undermined by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and its far-reaching consequences.
One of the aims of this conference was to provide policy recommendations, including to the Council of Europe 4th Summit of the Heads of State and Government on 16-17 May 2023 in Reykjavik, for developing guidelines on strengthening the resilience of democratic institutions to emergencies and their ability to deliver in uncertain times. The final declaration of the conference appears on its website.
The conference included three sessions dealing with:
1) the impact of and lessons learned from Covid-19;
2) the impact of armed conflicts on electoral processes; and
3) other challenges (such as Artificial Intelligence, cyber-attacks, foreign interference, energy crisis, ecological catastrophes) and looking to the future.
The President of the Venice Commission participated in this event and made a welcoming address. Moreover, two members and an expert of the Venice Commission participated in the different sessions and panel discussions, namely Mr Eirik Holmoyvik (Member on behalf of Norway), Mr Oliver Kask (Substitute member on behalf of Estonia) et Ms Irena Hadžiabdić (BiH Central Election Commission).“