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Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters, Venice Commission, 2002

8 November 2001 the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly, acting on behalf of the Assembly, adopted Resolution 1264 (2001) inviting the Venice Commission:

i.  to set up a working group, comprising representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly, the CLRAE and possibly other organisations with experience in the matter, with the aim of discussing electoral issues on a regular basis;

ii.  to devise a code of practice in electoral matters which might draw, inter alia, on the guidelines set out in the appendix to the explanatory memorandum of the report on which this resolution is based (Doc.  9267), on the understanding that this code should include rules both on the run-up to the election, the elections themselves and on the period immediately following the vote;

iii.  as far as its resources allow, to compile a list of the underlying principles of European electoral systems by co-ordinating, standardising and developing current and planned surveys and activities. In the medium term, the data collected on European elections should be entered into a database, and analysed and disseminated by a specialised unit.

The following guidelines are a concrete response to the three aspects of this  resolution. They were adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections – the joint working group provided for by the Parliamentary Assembly resolution – at its second meeting (3 July 2002) and subsequently by the Venice Commission at its 51st Session (5-6 July 2002); they are based on the underlying principles of Europe’s electoral heritage; lastly and above all, they constitute the core of a code of good practice in electoral matters. 

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