16 September 2015 The National Assembly hosts the celebration of the CEPPS programme 15th anniversary

16 September 2015 The National Assembly hosts the celebration of the CEPPS programme 15th anniversary

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

National Assembly Hosts CEPPS Programme 15th Anniversary

The National Assembly hosted the celebration of 15 years of CEPPS programme in Serbia.

In his address, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic opined that Serbia is in the process of transition as well as in the process of claiming the highest standards of human rights, economy and improving democracy. He thanked NDI and IRI for their support of the process and Serbia’s efforts to strengthen the rule of law, improve business conditions, advance the role of the parliament and amend the election system. The National Assembly Deputy Speaker said that, at the initiative of NDI, an action team had been set up to tackle the prospective changes to the election system and ensure that Serbia has a political system grounded in the highest standards. He also stressed that the National Assembly Economic Caucus was set up with the support of IRI and NDI, opening a dialogue geared toward creating a good business environment.

Azza El-Abd, Director of USAID Serbia, said that the CEPPS programme and NDI and IRI’s close cooperation with the citizens, National Assembly and the Serbian Government has helped the reforms. She stressed that CEPPS programme helped the political parties build a political system that includes experts, public institutions and citizens, and is very successful in promoting the development of institutions in Serbia in support of democratisation.

Dejan Trifunovic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, said that EU accession is Serbia’s strategic and the Government is conducting a responsible and open policy toward that goal, as well as toward regional cooperation, infrastructural projects and the current migrant crisis.

Marko Djurisic, Head of the Boris Tadic – Social Democratic Party, Together for Serbia, Greens of Serbia Parliamentary Group, as the participant of various projects organised by IRI and NDI, said that the participants of these projects had gained the knowledge that helped them in their political engagements and would continue to assist them in maintaining and boosting the level of democratic freedoms we enjoy today.

Sonja Licht, President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, said that democracy is a work in progress and thanked NDI and IRI for the job they had done on developing democracy in Serbia, hoping the support would continue in the future. She emphasised the two organisations’ big contribution to the development of political processes in Serbia, reminding that NDI had helped set up CeSid.

The results of the CEPPS programme were presented by IRI Regional Director Jan Surotchak and NDI Regional Director Robert Benjamin, who concluded that the two organisations have become synonymous with public opinion polls.

The opening remarks were followed by three panel discussions on political representation, accountability of institutions to the citizens and participation of citizens in democratic processes. National Assembly Deputy Speaker Vladimir Prof. Dr Marinkovic and MP Elvira Kovacs, as well as representatives of the political parties and the non-governmental sector spoke at the panels.

CEPPS (Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening), comprising the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), conducted the political process support programme financed by USAID.

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