Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Ceisteanna (81)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

81. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department operates a national roster for international election observation; the way in which the roster is drawn up; his plans to observe elections in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4523/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade administers and maintains a roster of suitably skilled individuals who are available to deploy on international election observation missions organised, in the main, by the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

A new roster was put in place in January 2019. This followed a selection process launched on 2 July 2018. A Volunteer Information Booklet was made available on the Irish Aid website, which provided information on the operation of the roster and the selection process. I refer the Deputy to the response to Parliamentary Question 109 of 19 December 2018, which outlined the selection process. Training for new roster members is currently being provided and security vetting is on-going.

The EU and the OSCE/ODHIR issue regular calls for nomination of observers to participate in the election missions organised under their auspices. The Department will review each call which issues in 2019 on a case-by-case basis and respond accordingly, including with regard to the overall annual budget available for participation in election observation missions.