A Few Firsts For Romania
18 April 2012
From 26-30 March 2012, BRIDGE made its first appearance in Bucharest, Romania to a group of 26 expectant and curious election stakeholders from the region [including: Albania; Armenia; Georgia; Kyrgyzstan; Moldova; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia; Ukraine]. The BRIDGE workshop on Electoral Management Design (EMD) & Access to Electoral Processes (Access) targeted personnel from election management bodies and UNDP staff in country offices from the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (ECIS) region. The workshop was jointly organised by UNDPs Bratislava Regional Centre; Bureau for Development Policy; UNDP Romania; and the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania.
MIXTURE OF TWO MODULES
The target group had most requested EMD and Access as the modules relevant to their needs and interests, so the workshop facilitators customised these two modules into one program that equally covered both modules in a complementary and seamless manner. Topics focussed on:
EMD: Types of EMB models (independent, government, mixed); structure, functions, roles, principles, sustainability and reform (that focussed on access issues)
Access: Definitions, reasons why certain groups are included from electoral process, barriers and strategies to address barriers, range of disabilities and how common disabilities are affected during electoral processes, women and quotas, ethnic and national minorities and quotas.
Participants from neighbouring countries found many similarities in the evolution and conduct of elections, and at the same time many different electoral models and practices were discussed from the facilitation team who combined at much electoral experience in all the other regions of the world.
This workshop was the first time that:
1. Access to Electoral Systems module was run (for 50%of the workshop)
2. The two modules: Access to Electoral Systems and Election Management Design, were combined/customised into one cohesive module.
3. A Romanian national become fully accredited: Bogdan Popescu [Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania) – see photo.
4. A BRIDGE workshop was conducted in Romania: The Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA) of Romania were fully engaged and supportive of the program, including the full participation of Marian Muhuleţ – Vice-President of the PEA.
Overall, the workshop was a great success, comprising a rich range of activities that provided all participants the opportunity to engage in lively debates and discussions, and to challenge their views. The PEA hope this will be the first in a series of workshops in Romania for the PEA and other stakeholders, and also to host more regional events, given the growing interest in BRIDGE in this part of the globe.