The Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) promotes the institutionalization and professionalization of democratic processes in Europe. This September, the ACEEEO celebrated its 25th anniversary with a conference in Tirana, Albania focusing on the “Development of Electoral Systems and Processes in the Last 25 years.” International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) President and CEO Bill Sweeney and IFES Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumiłowicz represented IFES at the conference and participated in various panels.
For the conference, Sweeney and Dr. Martin-Rozumiłowicz also wrote an article assessing the development of electoral processes and democratization over the last 25 years. Discussing Harvard Political Scientist Samuel Huntington’s “wave theory” regarding global democratization, Sweeney and Dr. Martin-Rozumiłowicz examine both the advances and backsliding in democracy since 1991. With many observers noting a global “democracy deficit,” the authors conclude, “what the experiences of the last 25 years in the development of electoral systems and processes has clearly underscored is that it is precisely in these periods of downturn that democratic principles and obligations need to be most ardently promoted.” Thus, the work of regional organizations like the ACEEEO – promoted by international organizations like IFES – is indispensable to furthering global democracy.
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