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Election Observation

Update on the Call for Election Observers 2018

  1. Applications from individuals who applied to join the International Election Observation Roster have been appraised according to the criteria and competencies contained in the application form. An external company was contracted to ensure quality assurance across the panels marking applications. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aiming to release results of the recent appraisal process shortly, following determination of the availability of an Appeals Panel. Results will issue to the email address provided by the applicant.  
  2. The remaining stages of the process to establish the new roster are: language verification, security vetting and training of the new roster members. Language verification and Garda vetting will run concurrently during the month of December. Training of the new roster members will take place in January, with prioritisation given to candidates who have not been previously trained in election observation duties. Those shortlisted for the new roster will also be asked to undertake the online election observer training provided by the OSCE and the EU and to provide certification to the Election Desk. Information will be provided along with results. 
  3. The top-scoring candidates, who will be nominated for roster membership, will have their language levels assessed in a telephone conversation. There will be no written language test. These candidates will also be required to submit for Garda vetting via the National Vetting Bureau, or the equivalent policing authority for those resident overseas. 
  4. As there is a significant body of work remaining in this process, we ask that candidates refrain from contacting the Elections Desk until the results are released. We will be happy to respond to queries and to provide feedback once the results have issued.
  5. For information, 395 applications were received by the deadline of 17:30 on Friday 20 August 2018. No late applications were accepted. Of the 395 total applications, 377 were deemed to have met the essential requirements listed on pages 3 and 4 of the Volunteer Information Booklet. These 377 applications were assigned to panels for marking. 18 applicants were deemed not to have passed the essential requirements check. The 18 individuals concerned were informed on 15 November 2018 that their application was not successful.

For information purposes the Volunteer Information Booklet is available below:

Volunteer Information Booklet

International election monitoring missions play an important role in the promotion of democracy and human rights.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade maintains and administers a roster of observers for such missions, which are organised in the main by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU). The aim is to ensure that, when requested, Ireland is represented at an appropriate level in international observation missions for elections and constitutional referendums.

A new election observation roster of 200 people was established in May 2013 following a public call for applications. As the roster has now been established, no new applications are being accepted at this time. Any information or changes relating to this will be posted on this webpage.

On average, the Department deploys, at the request of the EU or the OSCE, observers on some 12-18 election observation missions per year. Observers may act as either Short Term Observers (i.e. for around 10-14 days) or Long Term Observers (up to 60 days in some cases). Observers work involves overseeing and monitoring the election process to ensure that it is fair and impartial. In the case of long term observers, these can also be involved in establishing and setting up arrangements for the election process.

If you have any queries in connection with the election observation roster, please email us



Election Observers (11 December 2018)

A listing of the elections to which the Department has sent observers since 2013 is available here. We will update this listing periodically.Download PDF (223KB)


Election Observation Missions 2017