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Cablegate: Council Approval Likely for European Commission

VZCZCXRO7845
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHBS #1527 3171903
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131903Z NOV 09
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY

UNCLAS BRUSSELS 001527

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PREL EUN IZ
SUBJECT: COUNCIL APPROVAL LIKELY FOR EUROPEAN COMMISSION
PROPOSAL TO SEND ELECTION EXPERTS FOR IRAQI NATIONAL
ELECTIONS

REF: STATE 114282

1. (SBU) According to the European Commission (EC) desk
officer for Iraq, Julita Bas, the EC will recommend sending
an "EU Enhanced Electoral Experts" mission (EEM) to Iraq for
the January 2010 national elections, but Council (i.e., all
Member States) approval will be necessary for the mission to
go forward. In a meeting November 6 with USEU Political and
Econ counselors, Bas said that the proposal for the January
mission is that it be similar to the formula the EC used for
monitoring previous regional elections in Iraq. It would not
be a full-fledged EU election observing mission, which the EU
considers a term of art for a full-scale mission, deployed
far enough in advance and with adequate staffing, with access
to election sites, and security to enable the mission to make
a public statement. Bas said the EC does not believe
security in Iraq is adequate to permit the functioning of a
full-scale mission and to allow for full access to all voting
sites, and expects its security advance mission to formalize
that conclusion.

2. (SBU) Bas noted that for the regional elections in
January 2009, the EC EEM consisted of two experts who had a
monitoring role, who traveled to Iraq and met with others
either participating in the elections or observing them, and
who then prepared an in-house (rather than public) report on
their observations. She said that for the upcoming January
2010 national elections, the EU "will field the best possible
formula and deliver as much as possible," given the security
and other limitations. The mission will likely, she said,
consist of six to eight experts. They would be traveling to
Iraq in the near future to assess the situation and decide
the parameters of their mission. She said that nothing
specific had been decided, but that the EEM would be enhanced
by the added presence of EU diplomats already in Iraq. As
with the regional elections, there would be no public
statement or final report assessing the overall conduct of
the elections.

3. (SBU) There is also no decision on a European Parliament
(EP) component. In a meeting with USEU, Heidi Hautala, the
Chairwoman of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the EP's
Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET), told USEU officers that the
parliament generally waited until the EC had determined the
parameters of an election mission, and that generally the EP
is then folded into a EC mission. Frequently, EU missions
are actually headed by a sitting or former EP member (as with
the observer mission for the August Afghanistan elections).
She would not speculate as to whether the EP would seek a
separate presence if there is not an appropriate EU mission
in which they could participate. At a November 11 hearing at
the EP, members of the EP delegation for relations with Iraq
discussed the possibility of such a mission with a Commission
representative.

4. (SBU) The final decision to approve the Mission will
come from the Council, which means that all 27 member states
must agree. A diplomat at the Spanish mission (which will
hold the presidency at the time of the elections) told us the
mission would likely be approved. An Italian diplomat
involved in working group discussions also said there should
be no problem with approval, noting that the Council had
urged the Commission to have as strong a presence as
possible.
Murray
.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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