Following the invitation by the Lebanese authorities, the European Union is deploying an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Lebanon to observe the Parliamentary elections, due to take place on 6 May 2018.
The EU has already observed elections in Lebanon in 2005 and 2009.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Elena Valenciano, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Lebanon.
"These elections, the first in almost a decade and with an increased number of female candidates, will be key for the future of Lebanon. A newly elected parliament will steer the many reforms that the country is about to undertake," Mogherini said in a statement.
"Lebanon can count on the friendship and strong support of the European Union and of the international community. Its stability and economic growth are key for the entire region and for the European Union," she added.
For her part, Elena Valenciano said that she was honoured to lead the EU Election Observation Mission to Lebanon, deeming the elections as an opportunity to strengthen Lebanon's democracy with EU support.
"Previous EU EOM reporting and recommendations have proved to be an important incentive for political consensus among Lebanon’s political parties and some have been integrated in the new law. I am confident that the 2018 EU EOM will provide an appreciated contribution to enhancing further the quality of the electoral process."
The Electoral Observation Mission's core team, consisting of 9 analysts, arrived in Beirut on 27 March. The team will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process, as well as prepare a comprehensive final report.
At the beginning of April, the core team was joined by 24l ong-term observers who are deployed across the country.
A further 36 short-term observers will be deployed at the beginning of May after having observed the vote of the Lebanese people living abroad (27 and 29 April).