Our mission is to improve the quality of democratic elections, by advising those who legislate for, administer and oversee elections, to enhance them for the benefit of voters.

We aim to do this by attending elections and empirically reporting our findings in an accessible way through statistical analysis and interlocutor meetings to support this objective. We do this through a strong methodology, based on the international standards for election observation as set out by OSCE/ODIHR and others.

We maintain strict impartiality and require our observers to abide by UK and international standards, as well as the relevant local legal framework, when acting as our observers.

We aim to report on our observations in a constructive and encouraging way to benefit the delivery of democracy and to benefit the electorate as a whole.

A key objective for Democracy Volunteers and our international partners is to campaign for better access for election observers to all elections. A key element of this strategy is persuading all OSCE member states to abide by their treaty commitments.

All OSCE member states are committed under Article 8 of the Copenhagen Agreement to allow the free and open access to observers of their electoral processes. The article states:

“The participating States consider that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for States in which elections are taking place. They therefore invite observers from any other CSCE participating states and any appropriate private institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law. They will also endeavour to facilitate similar access for election proceedings held below the national level.”

It is our hope that through our activities, we are able to normalise the presence of independent election observation across Europe, and thus to persuade all European countries and EU member states to allow independent organisations to observe their electoral proceedings, in accordance with their international commitments.