Congress' delegation observes local elections in Ukraine 

Kiev, on 24 October 2015 - Findings of the Congress' pre-electoral visit were presented by Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), Head of the Council of Europe's enlarged delegation to observe the local elections organised on 25 October 2015 in Ukraine, at a briefing session held on 23 October in Kyiv. For the first time, a Congress' delegation includes also members from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, in addition to the members of the EU Committee of the Regions. "This underlines the exceptional situation and the great attention paid by the international community to these elections," stated Mrs Mosler-Törnström.

In the center of different briefings over the day were the complexity of the new electoral law, concerns about vote buying and electoral fraud, the performance of the electoral administration at different levels of government and the shortcomings of the media landscape in Ukraine. In addition to an exchange of views with Ambassadors of several Council of Europe member states and an in-depth briefing with the core team of the OSCE-ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the enlarged delegation held meetings with representatives of domestic NGOs and media researchers.

The programme also included briefings with experts on the ongoing decentralisation reform and - already on Thursday, 22 October - meetings with candidates for Mayor and the City Council of Kyiv. Also, an exchange of views took place on the pre-electoral situation between the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and the Head of the enlarged Congress' delegation, together with the spokespersons of the Parliamentary Assembly and the EU Committee of the Regions.