The CEC in cooperation with IDEA International and the Law Enforcement Center of Finland organized the Regional Table “Digitalization of election processes- perspectives on cyber security and inter-institutional cooperation in the entire Western Balkans”.
The scope of the two- day round table was to explore the best practices and experiences of inter-institutional cooperation in digitalization of election processes. Present in the event were representatives from election bodies of Kosova, Bosnia, Lithuania, Georgia, Albanian institutions, international organizations operating in the field of elections and civil society.
The State Election Commissioner, Mr. Ilirjan Celibashi, in the opening address of the round table highlighted the experience of CEC in implementation of technology in elections, voters electronic identification and electronic voting and ballot counting.
“When we say : let us make an election process better, that means that it should have more integrity, inreased transarency, to better serve the voters, to be efficient in the preparation and administration, etc. But on the other hand we should be fully aware that IT systems we want to implement in the election processes should provide guarantees regarding their integrity. This guarantee should be 100 per cent and in no case should its integrity be questioned”, he stated.
During two consecutive days, issues such as electronic voting, cyber security, confidentiality, integrity and availability of technology and election data were discussed, as well as disinformation campaigns that seek to undermine the trust in elections, in administration, democratic institutions and other issues.
The discussions were focused on specific experiences in the entire Europe (Finland, Lithuania, Georgia, other respective countries) and cooperation at EU level, including EU Agency for Cyber Security (ENISA).
The participants shared the best international practices which are being built to address the evolving threats by cyber attacks, challenges of application of technology in elections and the effective measures taken so far.
Cooperation among election management bodies, with state and non state actors, including on line platforms, technology providers and civil society, was also in the focus of discussions.
The Central Elections Commission, with the support of the International Institute for Democracy and Election Assistance (International IDEA) and the Center for the Rule of Law of Finland started the dialogue of inter- institutional cooperation with election management bodies in the region and different agencies at a local and regional level on enhancing the use of digital instruments in elections. The event was organized in the framework of the project “Integrity and trust in Albanian elections: increase of transparency of political financing and safe use of information and communication technologies”, jointly implemented by International IDEA and the Rule of Law Center of Finland.