The Institute, officially launched in June 2006, is a joint undertaking of the European Parliament Former Members Association, the United States Association of Former Members of Congress and the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians. The aim of the Institute is to train former legislators to serve globally as election monitors, to participate in several election observation missions per year and to involve former legislators of the three Associations in post-election democracy building endeavours. The Institute works with other monitoring organisations including the OSCE and The Carter Center. Each of the Associations has to seek funding separately from government, business and non-governmental sources.
In 2011, the IEMI Board agreed to widen the scope of the Institute which now includes not only election observation but various democracy building activities which are considered a precondition to running fair elections. The Board also agreed on a new name of the Institute: Global Democracy Initiative. The Global Democracy Initiative will cooperate closely with the Associations of Parliament's former members of Australia and New Zealand.
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