BRIDGE Introduction to Electoral Administration workshop for CEC Kosovo
18-21 December 2023
Republic of Kosovo
Empowering CEC Kosovo with a BRIDGE Introduction to Electoral Administration Workshop
From December 19th to 21st, 2023, Kosovo hosted a BRIDGE Introduction to Electoral Administration workshop. The event was organized by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) with the support of the Rule of Law Centre of Finland at the request of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Kosovo. This effort aimed to restart the BRIDGE program, which initially began in 2012-2013 when the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) organized a Train the Facilitator workshop and several modular workshops.
The three-day event aimed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the BRIDGE methodology. Attendees had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of fundamental elections principles, such as transparency and integrity, crucial for ensuring credible and legitimate election outcomes.
The BRIDGE training on Introduction to Electoral Administration was designed to showcase the methodology to participants unfamiliar with it. A specific goal of the training was to expand participants’ understanding of the election principles and electoral administration supporting their engagement with other actors in the electoral process.
The workshop brought together 20 participants, including high-level management, senior and regional officials of the Central Election Commission. Two officials were BRIDGE semi-accredited facilitators. Participants were equipped with tools and expanded their knowledge and understanding of election principles, electoral administration best practices, and interaction with stakeholders in the electoral process.
The facilitation team included Dr. Doina Bordeianu, Accrediting BRIDGE facilitator from the Republic of Moldova, Ljupka Guguchevska Filiposka, Accrediting BRIDGE facilitator from North Macedonia and Madalena Koja, BRIDGE Workshop Facilitator from Albania.
On the first day, we delved into the criteria defining free and fair elections, examining standards that connect trust and legitimacy to the integrity of electoral processes. Serving as a guest speaker, the Head of the Department for Democracy and Public Law, Democracy, and Elections at the Finnish Ministry of Justice delivered an insightful online presentation focused on the crucial aspect of electoral integrity.
On day 2, an introduction to electoral systems, types of EMB, and main features of representation systems were demonstrated. We discussed the pros and cons to identify vulnerabilities in existing systems and how EMB and stakeholders could adopt best practices.
On the last day of the workshop, access to electoral processes, strategies to mitigate barriers for creating inclusive and representative processes, and sustainability challenges of elections and EMB were discussed. Cybersecurity principles or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the election process were extensively explored since AI is becoming a keyword in today’s speeches.
The Introduction workshop marks the inception of a broader capacity-building initiative in Kosovo through BRIDGE, anticipating significant contributions to enhancing transparency and fairness in elections. The Central Election Commission has recently finalized strategic planning, incorporating BRIDGE methodology as a sustained learning approach for the future. Additionally, International IDEA plans to support the strengthening of institutional and human capacities by implementing the BRIDGE program. Together, these efforts indicate a concerted commitment towards fostering a resilient and stable democratic process in Kosovo.
The working languages were English, Albanian, and Serbian. Simultaneous interpretation was provided.