International election observation plays an important role in the promotion of democratisation, human rights and the rule of law. The Department maintains a roster of observers who are available to participate in election observation missions. We nominate observers to missions organised, in the main, by the EU and the OSCE.
On average, the Department sends observers on 12-18 election observation missions (EOMs) per year. Short Term Observers (STOs) are generally in country for 10-14 days, while Long Term Observers (LTOs) can spend 60 days or more observing the election process.
2022 Election Observation Missions
In October 2021, given the progress of Ireland's vaccination programme and the re-opening of non-essential international travel, Ireland resumed nomination of observers to Election Observation Missions organised by the OSCE and the EU.
To date in 2022, Ireland has sent 21 individual observers to EU or OSCE election observation missions in: Colombia, Serbia, Hungary, Lebanon, Kenya, Bosnia and Herzegovina, São Tomé and Príncipe and Lesotho.
Read our breakdown of missions, flights costs and average flight emissions for 2022
Past Election Observation Missions
Following the resumption of nominations in October 2021, Ireland sent nine STOs to observe parliamentary elections in the Kyrgyz Republic in November 2021.
In January and February 2020, Ireland sent one LTO and two STOs to observe the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan. In 2019 Ireland sent 57 individual observers to EU or OSCE election observation missions in: Albania, Belarus, El Salvador, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Malawi, Moldova, Mozambique, North Macedonia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine.
A listing of missions from 2013-2022 is available here.
Election Observation Roster
The roster facilitates the participation of suitably skilled and vetted volunteers who are available to participate at short notice in Election Observation Missions under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU). Further information on the roster is available in this Information Note.
The current election roster was established in January 2019. The roster selection process has now concluded. A number of applicants contacted the Department with questions about the 2018 roster mustering process. Further information is available in the Composite Response. The Department does not accept applications for election observer missions from members of the public who have not been shortlisted to the roster.
Election observation by independent observers has become an important way of supporting countries during the transition to democracy.
Protecting human rights
Learn more about Ireland’s commitment to human rights