OSCE participating States agreed in Copenhagen in1990 on a set of criteria for democratic elections. The Copenhagen Document provides a framework for the conduct of free and fair elections. In recognition of the added value that election observers can have on electoral processes, the participants agreed to welcome representatives of other participating States to observe the course of their national election proceedings.
Observers assess elections for their compliance with these shared commitments to ensure all OSCE participating States are held to one common standard. Under the 1990 Copenhagen Document, participating States agree to several commitments:
- holding free elections regular intervals
- equal suffrage for all adult citizens
- honest and transparent vote counting
- separation of State from political parties
- right to seek political or public office, individually or as a political party
- right of citizens to discuss views and cast votes without the fear of retribution
- unimpeded media access for parties and candidates
The election-related Copenhagen commitments are here .
The full 1990 Copenhagen Document is here .