European electoral management bodies convene in Helsinki
Electoral management bodies from several European countries convene in Helsinki on 26–27 June in order to discuss questions related to election and party funding as well as corruption, among other things. The theme of the Conference is combating the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes. The Conference is organised by the Venice Commission, which is the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters.
The Conference is opened by Ms Anna-Maja Henriksson, the Finnish Minister of Justice, Ms Tuija Brax, Chairperson of the Parliament Audit Committee and Member of the Finnish Parliament, and Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission.
According to a report published by the Venice Commission last year, there are among the European states inherent weaknesses in legislation and in practice that may lead to misuse of administrative resources, i.e. to situations where the incumbent political parties and candidates take advantage of public officials' work contribution in their election campaigning. This gives them an undue advantage vis-à-vis their challengers.
The purpose of the Venice Commission is, among other things, to assist the Council of Europe member states in questions related to election legislation. The Venice Commission has also published recommendations on good practices in election matters, and it maintains a database of the effective elections legislation of its member states. The Commission has 60 member states, of which 12 are not members of the Council of Europe.
The European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies is held every year. This year's Conference is co-organised by the Ministry of Justice, the Parliament Audit Committee and the National Audit Office of Finland.
Jussi Aaltonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. 02951 50560, e-mail: [email protected]