With respect to the negotiation of hospitality agreements to facilitate external voting programs, there are a number of important criteria that need to be recognized and protected. We believe that the general trend displayed in the various articles presented here is that host Governments are becoming increasingly sophisticated and, although the means and methods they use to generate higher revenues for the host Government may vary, the common issue is similar among virtually all developing countries. For the most part, with the rise in crude oil prices, the level of revenues that remain in a host country and generated by E&P activities is also increasing. There is also another group of host governments, such as Brazil, Indonesia, Venezuela and Mexico, which are introducing new tax regimes and contractual arrangements for the exploitation of hydrocarbons in their countries. Examples of agreements in host countries are the agreements signed in the context of Afghanistan`s 2004 presidential elections, the largest external electoral programme to date in terms of registered voter numbers and external turnout. The Afghan government and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) have signed two memoranda of understanding with the governments of Iran and Pakistan. These MOUs provided that the two host governments would provide broad support to the external electoral programme, including security of registration and voting centres, escorts for the transport of electoral materials, and support for political education and public information campaigns. In the 1996 elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the registration of the external vote was done almost exclusively by post and the vote was done by a combination of postal and personal votes, depending on the number of refugees in each host country. Coordination offices have been established in 17 countries to disseminate information and facilitate registration and coordination. These offices were set up by a MOUs engraver between the RESG and the main host governments.
The nature of these agreements and the roles and responsibilities of different host countries were very different. In the United Kingdom, refugee agencies have been set up to disseminate information. In the United States, an NGO, the League of Women Voters Education Fund, was established (Gallagher and Schowengerdt 1998: 206-7). In Germany, the government funded and ran an office to facilitate the registration and voting processes. Finally, there are several articles, more general or global, that focus on the host government`s contractual terms, including stabilization clauses and environmental liability, as well as an analysis of different tax systems by Daniel and David Johnston. We hope that you will find this special edition of OGEL interesting not only from an intellectual point of view, but also from a practical point of view, to understand how tax regimes and state aid instruments are evolving in the current context. Host governments continue to balance the need to encourage new and additional international investment, not only to encourage E&P operations, but also to develop stronger internal systems and local industries, in order to strengthen domestic markets and create opportunities for a better trained and more demanding local workforce. Some host countries, such as Canada and some European countries, only allow external votes in embassies or consulates or by mail. When external consultations take place in a country`s consulates or embassies, agreements with host countries are often not necessary. . . .