Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Election Monitoring Missions
87. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the plans by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to run a full-scale election observation mission for the forthcoming elections in Serbia with both long and short-term observers; if long-term and short-term observers from Ireland will be provided for such a mission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3753/22]
88. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that 20 civil society groups in Hungary have urged the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to conduct a full-scale election observation for the forthcoming elections in Hungary and that this has been supported by a number of MEPs; if he plans to support the running of such a mission; if he will convey same to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe; if he will support a call from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to provide long-term and short-term election observers from Ireland for such a mission to Hungary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3754/22]
89. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the budget in 2022 for Ireland's election observation programme; if the budget includes provision for the recruitment to a replacement roster in 2022; the number of observers on the current roster; if observers must be tax resident in Ireland; if not, the number of non-tax resident observers on the roster; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3755/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 to 89, inclusive, together.
I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Questions No. 120 of 29 January 2019, No. 410 of 24 November 2020, No. 304 of 25 May 2021 and No. 310 of 16 November 2021.
Ireland's current International Election Observation Roster of 197 volunteers, which is facilitated by my Department, is in effect from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2023. Roster members must be Irish citizens and are required to produce up-to-date tax clearance certificates prior to receipt of allowable expenses. The budget for 2022 is €180,000. Any costs related to the recruitment of a new roster would be required in 2023.
My Department has received a call from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for Long-Term Observers for the Serbian Presidential and Parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for 3 April 2022. This is currently being processed in accordance with OSCE requirements and timeframe for nominations. While Ireland nominates observers, the OSCE takes the final decision on the nominees they choose to accept. My Department has not yet received a call for Short-Term Observers for this mission.
To date, my Department has not received a call for observers for a mission for forthcoming elections in Hungary. My officials are continuing to keep updated on developments through engagement with the OSCE and ongoing diplomatic channels.