Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is due to hold presidential and legislative elections in November of 2016. Yet in a volatile pre-electoral period, political and security tensions are on the rise. Worrying attempts to undermine political transition, shrinking democratic space, and a dramatic increase in human rights violations pose an acute threat to a credible and peaceful transfer of power in Congo’s young democracy.

This conference, hosted by MEP Maria Arena (Socialists & Democrats) and Mariya Gabriel (European People’s Party) brings together institutional, academic, and civil society actors to discuss the role and responsibility of the EU in supporting a credible democratic process in the DRC. This event will also launch a joint European Network for Central Africa–Open Society European Policy Institute advocacy document, which, based on extensive field work and research in both Brussels and the DRC, analyzes political, technical, and security challenges ahead of the anticipated elections, and highlights options for EU action.


  • Koen Vervaeke is senior EU coordinator for the Great Lakes region and managing director for Africa at the European External Action Service.
  • Corneille Nangaa is executive secretary at Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante.
  • Ida Sawyer is senior researcher and advocate for Human Rights Watch in DRC.
  • Gérard Bisambu is executive secretary at Agir pour des Elections Transparentes et Apaisées.
  • Nick Elebe is the DRC country manager at the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa.
  • Donatella Rostagno is executive secretary at the European network for Central Africa.
  • Marta Martinelli (moderator) is acting deputy director at the Open Society European Policy Institute.

French–English translation will be provided.

Date: June 2, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m.1:00 p.m.

European Parliament, Room Jan 4Q2, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels, Belgium