15 September 2015 The participants of the international parliamentary conference in Georgia

15 September 2015 The participants of the international parliamentary conference in Georgia

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

National Assembly Delegation at International Parliamentary Conference in Tbilisi

A National Assembly delegation took part in the international parliamentary conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 14 and 15 September 2015.

The conference is part of the Open Government Partnership and the National Assembly was invited to present its work on open government via the introduction of the Public Finance Supervision Portal, live streaming of National Assembly sessions and the sittings of its working bodies, sittings held outside of the headquarters and other best practice examples that put the Republic of Serbia at the forefront of the region.

In the panel dedicated to the participating parliaments’ achievements in the spheres of openness and transparency, GOPAK and Women’s Parliamentary Network member Dubravka Filipovski presented the mechanisms and tools the Serbian Parliament uses to perform its control function. On the occasion she stressed that, for the purpose, the Parliament uses the institute of parliamentary questions, public hearings and sittings outside of the parliamentary headquarters organised in cooperation with the civil society and the citizens. MP Dubravka Filipovski briefed the participants of the conference on the work of the informal parliamentary groups with a special focus on the GOPAC initiative, the initiative to instate the Public Finance Supervision Portal, as well as the Women’s Parliamentary Network and its regional cooperation on gender equality issues with SEE women parliamentarians.

In the part of the conference dedicated to strategies for the improvement of the openness of the parliament, action plans, parliaments’ cooperation with civil society organisations and their role in strengthening the openness of the parliament, Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic spoke of the National Assembly’s results and achievements in the area and briefed the participants of the conference about the newly-established Parliamentary Group for Open Parliament which cooperates with CRTA NGO. He emphasised the National Assembly and its MPs’ dedication to intensive cooperation with civil society organisations, which is a prerequisite for the successful performance of the Parliament’s representative, legislative and control function. In his address he announced the Week of Parliamentarism, 19 - 24 October 2015, organised for the first time in Serbia by the National Assembly in cooperation with the initiative Open Parliament, which is to involve a great many MPs, citizens, young people, civil society organisations and academic institutions.

In the panel on the cooperation between the parliament and civil society in the development of efficient tools for the improvement of the parliament’s accessibility, member of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending Suzana Sarac said that in the previous period the National Assembly had invested a lot of effort into making its work more accessible to the citizens and allowing them insight and direct participation in its work and decision-making process, and drew attention to the importance of civil society as an important partner and bridge of communication between the citizens and the parliament. She presented two important software tools the National Assembly is to introduce in the near future, aimed at creating the conditions conducive to boosting civic participation in the legislative process: a tool that will ensure two-way communication with the citizens and civil society in order to collect civic submissions at public hearings and a tool aimed at monitoring and controlling the spending of public funds by the MPs.

The National Assembly delegation’s participation in the conference was supported by project “Strengthening the Oversight Role and Transparency of the National Assembly” conducted by the National Assembly, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

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