The Regional Elections Administration and Political Process Strengthening (REAPPS) was designed with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development to address common challenges among Central and Eastern European and Eurasian societies. These include defining the role of government, fostering political pluralism, stimulating civic participation, and channeling internal conflict into political institutions to produce democratic outcomes faced by transitioning democracies within the Europe and Eurasia region.
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) opened its regional Europe office (REO) in Prague, Czech Republic in 2014. The REO presents IFES with new possibilities to engage electoral stakeholders in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the Balkans. IFES also runs professional development programs featuring innovative approaches, evidence‐based solutions, and peer‐to peer learning. IFES further seeks to strengthen electoral capacity by bringing representatives (election administrators, judges, journalists, academics and civil society) from various fields together to promote cross‐border learning and exchange on a range of political process issues including campaign/political finance, election administration and inclusion of marginalized groups.
Past and future activities address some of the following themes:
- Greater transparency in the use of state resources during election campaigns
- Strategies for the enforcement and oversight of political finance regulations
- Encouraging learning and exchange between Eastern and Central European and Eurasian countries
- Election integrity assessments and election integrity management planning
- Achieving institutional, personal, financial, and functional autonomy of election management bodies (EMBs)
- Monitoring and evaluation for EMB training units
- Ensuring voting rights for vulnerable populations in areas of conflict
- Empowering civil society organizations (CSOs) to equip the public with evidence‐based and user‐friendly information
- Facilitating workshops on electoral issues with CSOs, NGOs, and government representatives
- Encouraging peer‐to‐peer exchange and interaction among stakeholders
- Creating conditions for the independence of state‐run electoral commissions
- Greater gender and youth inclusion in all stages of the electoral process
- Increasing political and electoral access for persons with disabilities
- Development of a white paper on guidelines for accessible election technology policies and procedures
Regional programs advance international standards and instruments including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on Eliminating Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Regional programming also advances the recommendations put forth by IFES’ own legal and technical experts, election observation missions (e.g., the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights), and international advisory bodies (e.g., the Venice Commission).