Russia: European Exchange and EPDE strongly protest against house searches at EPDE member organization GOLOS

Moscow,7 July 2015: On Tuesday morning, 7 July at 6.30 house searches have been conducted at the private flats of Grigori Melkonjanc, deputy director of the EPDE member organization GOLOS, Roman Udot, senior expert of the organization and Tatiana Troinova, director of the inter-regional foundation GOLOS. Documents and technical devices have been confiscated. Later the day the search has been continued at the office of GOLOS in Moscow city. The search was conducted by the Samara department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and officially stands in connection with the long-lasting prosecution of the southern Russian Samara branch of GOLOS.

Already in February 2015 Ludmila Kuzmina, the head of the Samara branch of GOLOS was charged with tax evasion. Tax authorities claimed that Ludmila Kuzmina should have paid taxes in the amount of 2 million Rubles (approx. 40.000 $) for a donation for the work of the regional GOLOS branch in the years 2010-2012. GOLOS declared that time these claims unlawful and has filed legal complaints. Grigori Melkonjanc, deputy director of GOLOS Moscow interprets the new searches in Moscow as an attempt to hinder the observation of the upcoming local elections in September 2015. “They don’t want us to observe on 13 September” he declared via Twitter.

Independent citizens’ election observation as conducted by EPDE member organization GOLOS is a basic right of voters to exert control over election processes. Through membership with the Council of Europe and the OSCE the Russian Federation has committed itself to guarantee these basic rights of its citizens. EPDE strongly protests the ongoing intimidation of independent citizens’ election observers in the Russian Federation through house searches, confiscation of private property, undue tax charges and legal persecution in the framework of a manipulated NGO legislation. We call on the Russian Federation to adhere to its constitutional and international commitments and to guarantee unhindered election observation of the upcoming local elections through independent citizens’ election observers

Europäischer Austausch sucht einen Praktikant/In

Von 15. August 2015 bis 15. Januar 2016

Der Europäische Austausch gGmbH hat eine Praktikumsstelle zur Mitarbeit bei der »Europäischen Plattform für Demokratische Wahlen« zu besetzen.

Aufgabenbereiche des Praktikanten/ der Praktikantin:

- Assistenz bei der Ausrichtung von Fortbildungsveranstaltungen und internationalen Konferenzen der “EPDE”

- Assistenz bei der internationalen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit der Plattform durch Datenbankpflege, Webseitenentwicklung, Newsletterversand

- Assistenz bei Projektverwaltung 

Bewerbungen - nur per email – (Lebenslauf und Motivationsschreiben, ggf Zeugnisse und Referenzen in einem PDF Dokument) schicken Sie bitte bis 10.07.2015 an

Weitere Information finden Sie bitte hier

Lunch-Debate "Fighting Corruption In Ukraine: Hurdles And Challenges"

Brussels, 23 June 2015

European Exchange together with Kiev Dialogue and Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group organises a lunch-debate devoted to the issue of the struggle against corruption in Ukraine. 

Which hurdles and challenges has the new Ukrainian government encountered and, more importantly, how can they be overcome? How can the EU better support Ukraine in fighting corruption and establishing transparency and accountability of governmental work towards the society? 

These and further issues will be discussed by leading experts from the EU and Ukraine.

The event will be held in English. Registration is requested by June 21, 2015 under

The full program of the discussion you can find here


Berlin, 1-2 June 2015

EPDE, of which European Exchange holds the secretariat, in support of the Council of Europe’s Electoral Assistance and Census program and the European Commission conducted a media and PR training aiming at strengthening the skills of media representatives when dealing with international mass media and other relevant international stakeholders. 

The training gathered twenty PR and media specialists from the EPDE partner organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. 

Please find more information here

Public Discussion "New Geopolitics Instead of Cold War? Ukraine, Russia and the West"

Cologne, 11 June 2015

The University of Cologne, Main Building, Lecture Hall II, Albert-Magnus-Platz 1, 50931

European Exchange invites you to a public discussion focusing on the new geopolitical strategies in the framework of the war in Eastern Ukraine. What are Putin's objectives in this war? Was the reaction of the EU to the armed conflict in Ukraine adequate? These and further issues will be adressed with leading experts for Ukraine, Russia and the EU.

More information on the event you can find here 

Please, confirm your attendance until 9 June 2015 per email to:

EPDE observed presidential election in Poland on 10 May 2015

Poland, May 10, 2015

EPDE started its observation on 7 May 2015. The observers group included 40 observers from Germany, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Sweden and was deployed to Warsaw, Crakow, Lublin, Lodz and Szczecin. The observers met with authorities, election administration, candidates' election staff, local civic monitoring organizations and other election observation missions. On 10 May EPDE observed the voting and vote counting in approx. 120 polling stations in different regions of Poland. The observers provided the Polish authorities and the election administration with some recommendations concerning the election day procedures.

Please find the press release in English, Polish and Russian.

EPDE: Psychiatry instrumentalised to silence Russian election observers

Berlin, May 4, 2015

The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), of which European exchange holds the secretariate, has issued a statement today strongly protesting severe harrassment and intimidation of election observers from the Russian election observer organisation GOLOS. Ludmila Kuzmina, leader of the Samara’ regional branch of EPDEmember organization GOLOS, Russia, has been threatened to undergo a psychiatric examination by the prosecutor's office in April 2015. This sort of repression has been often applied in the late Soviet Union against dissidents.

For more information access here

Round Table "Weapons, Sanctions or Diplomacy?- The Ways of Deescalating the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine"

Berlin, February 27, 2015

European Exchange in collaboration with German Council on Foreign Relations organised a Round Table aiming at elaborating the ways of deescalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine with leading experts from the EU and Ukraine which took place on February 27, 2015.

The participants of the Round Table agreed upon the necessity of the withdrawal of heavy weaponry, immediate release of prisoners and restoration of control on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Nonetheless some questions remained unanswered. Will Russia stick to the Minsk Agreement? Will the conflict escalate? The experts emphasised the responsibilities all sides of the conflict bare in addressing the issue. The OSCE and the EU should also increase its control and engagement in solving the conflict.

Please find the report on the Round Table here

Round Table "Between Propaganda and Counterpropaganda: "

Berlin, February 19, 2015

European Exchange together with the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum organised a Round Table with experts from Ukraine, Russia and the EU aiming at developing new strategies to combat propaganda in the European information space, which took place in Heinrich Böll Stiftung on December 17, 2014.

All participants of the Round Table concluded that contemporary media faces a double challenge: to counter disinformation and to stop the erosion of public trust in general, as well as to create alternative channels of information for Russian speaking audiences in the post-Soviet countries and the three Baltic states.

The minutes of the Round Table are now available here (English version) and here (Russian version).

Freedom for Anar Mammadli-no preferential treatment for Ilham Aliev

Foto: Franziska Senkel, Berlin

Berlin, January 21, 2015

European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) protested on the occasion of Ilham Aliev's visit to Germany on January 21, 2015 against the suppression of civil society and democratic opposition in Azerbaijan. Together with Reporters Without Borders, Lilia Shibanova (GOLOS, Russia) and Ales Beliacki (Viasna, Belarus), EPDE organized a vigil in support for Anar Mammadli and other political prisoners in Azerbaijan  in front of the German Chancellory in Berlin.

For more information access here