Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, said:
"The second general elections following the entry into force of the Constitution in 2006 are crucial for consolidating the stabilization process in the DRC and in the region. They represent an opportunity for all the stakeholders to promote their vision regarding the future of the DRC in a peaceful and constructive way and to the Congolese people to exert their fundamental rights to make a choice regarding the conduct of public affairs for the coming years. This is also an opportunity for the Congolese authorities in charge of elections preparations to strengthen the democratic political system through the organization of an inclusive, credible, transparent and peaceful electoral process.
I believe that the country deserves our support in this effort. Therefore, in addition to the EU contribution to the funding of elections and strengthening their security, I have decided to deploy an EU EOM led by the Member of the European Parliament, Mariya Nedelcheva. I wish her and her team all success in their independent assessment of these important elections"
Initial core team of EU EOM arrived in the country on 8 October. This team is now being joined by long term observers. In addition, short-term observers will be deployed to the DRC about one week before the election. The mission will also be reinforced by an election observation delegation of Members of the European Parliament for the election period.
The EU EOM will present its initial conclusions inKinshasaa few days after the close of polls. The mission will remain in the DRC to prepare a comprehensive report, including recommendations for improvement to the future electoral process.
The EU is one of the DRC's most important development cooperation partners and is providing funds to assist the country in implementing its development and socio-economic reform agenda. The EU supports the organization of DRC elections with a €47.5 million contribution and the enhancing of the security of elections with further €2 million. Furthermore, the EU supports elections related civil society activities, notably domestic observation, civic and electoral education, mediation, participation of women, strengthening local media and the role of civil society in rural areas.