Observers primed for fresh Presidential run off in Ukraine
European Report - 22 December 2004
A ten-strong delegation* of MEPs led by Polish European Parliament Vice-President Jacek Emil Saryusz-Wolski (EPP-ED) is travelling to Ukraine on December 24-26 to help monitor the re-run of the second round of the Presidential elections there. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) is planning to boost considerably its presence for the repeat run-off to over 1,000 observers - the largest ever OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission. European Commission officials told Europe Information on December 20 that the EU had offered to provide up to Euro 3 million worth of support for the election.
Talks had taken place with the OSCE about what the Organisation needed and so far it had not had to take the EU up on the whole of its offer. But officials said the EU would certainly fund to the tune of roughly Euro 0.5 million 150 short-term observers drawn from East and South-East Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The conduct of the elections will be key to determining the prospects for closer EU-Ukraine ties (see Europe Information 2922).
* Jacek Emil Saryusz-Wolski (EPP-ED, Poland), Charles Tannock (EPP-ED, UK), Barbara Weiler (PES, Germany), Glyn Ford (PES, UK), Sarunas Birutis (ALDE, Lithuania), Grażyna Staniszewska (ALDE, Poland), Milan Horacek (Greens/EFA, Germany), Jirí Maštálka (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic), Guntars Krasts (UEN, Latvia), Irena Belohorská (Slovakia).