The Riksdag regularly sends members of the Riksdag to other countries as election observers. The presence of international observers helps to ensure that election procedures are correct, which in turn promotes democratic development. The monitoring missions are often carried out in new democracies in the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, in Central Asia, as well as in the USA. The elections that are observed are parliamentary elections, and, in certain cases, presidential elections. As an observer, the member visits polling stations on election day and monitors compliance with election laws. It must be possible to rely on election results, and having election observers present increases the chances of achieving democratic electoral processes. The OSCE sends election monitors It is the country holding an election that invites foreign election observers to monitor proceedings. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is one organisation that sends election monitors. The organisation has a parliamentary assembly consisting of parliamentarians from the member countries. The assembly normally invites the Riksdag delegation to the OSCE to send election observers to take part in missions. The OSCE delegation The Riksdag delegation to the OSCE is very active, and the number of members of the Riksdag that participate in observer missions varies depending on a quota assigned in advance. If the delegation cannot fill the assigned number of places, the Speaker can decide to offer places to other members of the Riksdag.The observation missions sometimes take place in cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly or the European Parliament. Five members of the Riksdag observed the presidential election in Georgia on 28 October 2018. One of them was Margareta Cederfelt (Mod). Photo: OSCE PA Delegation to the Council of Europe NATO delegation Important that elections are monitored by politicians The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly underlines that it is important that elections are monitored by politicians. This is because they have participated in elections themselves in their native countries and are well acquainted with election campaigns and procedures. The participation by members of the Riksdag in observer missions is in line with the Riksdag's strategy for international contacts, which clearly emphasises democracy and human rights. Two decades of election monitoring The OSCE started to send out election observers in the early 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The first members of the Riksdag were sent out in 1993. They monitored the parliamentary election in Russia, an election where it was possible to choose between several parties for the first time. Between 1993 and 2010, the OSCE sent 3,377 parliamentarians to different countries on observer missions.