Accountability and Transparency of Parliament
Macedonian constituency engaged in ensuring accountability and transparency of Parliament
Implementation period: July 2016 – March 2018
Supported by: The British Embassy Skopje
Project purpose: To build public pressure for improved performance of the Parliament and relevant stakeholders by engaging constituency in informed debate on electoral reform and role of Parliament.
Project’s activities will focus on addressing 2 priorities:
1. Contribution towards the Electoral reform – support to implementation of recommendations from the urgent priority electoral reforms, as per Priebe Report, with aim to enhance transparency of the process and restore citizens’ trust in the electoral process.
2. Parliamentary performance monitoring – will publicise the performance and competences of the Parliament: plenary sessions, MPs, committees’ sessions, participation of the CSOs in the decision making. These regular reports will inform the public, media and civil society on the performance of the MPs they have voted for and on the practices of the Parliament in executing its constitutional role. The engagement of all stakeholders, representatives of relevant domestic and foreign institutions will ensure inclusiveness in the drafting of recommendations for improving the Parliamentary Productivity Index of the Parliament.
1. Contribution towards the Electoral reform
• Monitoring the Voters List review
• Participation in/monitoring the working group for cleaning the VL
• Producing policy options with concrete measures and recommendations
2. Parliamentary performance monitoring
• Monitoring MP’s performance
• Monitoring of the Parliamentary Committees
• Monitoring and evaluating the quality of the enacted legislation
• Producing Parliament Productivity Index
• Engaging/informing citizens
• Producing policy options with concrete measures and recommendations
• Increased transparency and accountability of Parliament
Within the frames of the project “Macedonian constituency engaged in ensuring accountability and transparency of Parliament”, today the Citizens Association MOST presented the second report from the monitoring of the work of the Parliament. The subject of the report is the constitutive session of the Parliament, i.e. an analysis of the MPs’ speeches and an analysis of the manner in which the chairman presided with constitutive session.
This report has been prepared within the project “Macedonian Constituency Engaged in Ensuring Accountability and Transparency of Parliament.” It contains data on the work of the Parliament’s previous composition, for various periods during 2016.
Во организација на Граѓанска асоцијација МОСТ денес се одржа конференција на тема „Вклучени граѓани за одговорно и транспарентно Собрание“.
Целта на настанот беше да се дискутира за улогата и функционирањето на Собранието како највисок орган кој воедно ги донесува и законите. На конференцијата се разговараше за теми како транспарентноста и одговорноста на Собранието, работата на комисиите и механизмите за учество на засегнатите страни. На конференцијата беа презентирани и резултатите од извештајот за Индексот на одговорност, транспарентност и продуктивност на Собранието на РМ, подготвен од страна на МОСТ во рамките на проектот „Вклучени граѓани за одговорно и транспарентно Собрание“, за работата на Собранието во 2016 година.
На настанот присуствуваа и говореа претседателот на Собранието на РМ, поранешни и сегашни пратеници во Собранието на РМ, претставници на меѓународната заедница, како и претставници на институции и граѓанскиот сектор.
Претседателот на Собранието на РМ, г. Талат Џафери, при отварањето на конференцијата истакна: „Враќањето во една нормална општествена состојба која подразбира почитување на принципите на парламентарната демократија, владеењето на правото и почитувањето на човековите права и слободи, како индивидуални, така и колективни, па сè до слободата на говорот, нема да се случи преку ноќ. Тоа е процес кој ќе трае подолг период.“ За крај, претседателот вети дека како претседател и Собранието како институција секогаш ќе биде отворено за иницијативите на граѓанското општество, предлози и сè друго што ќе биде во функција на јакнењето на парламентарната демократија и парламентаризмот во Република Македонија.
Универзитетската професорка, Беса Арифи посочи дека: „Учеството на граѓаните и граѓанските организации во донесувањето на законите е многу важно, а еден од механизмите за тоа се и граѓанските иницијативи за донесување на закони.“
Директорот на НДИ, Крис Хеншоу, истакна дека има повеќе предизвици за напредок, но исто така дека Собранието има огромна можност за да ја подобри својата работа.
Сите учесници ја посочија заедничката желба новиот парламентарен состав да ја врати парламентарната демократија во Македонија, и дека Собранието д стане поодговорно и потранспарентно, како и поотворено кон јавноста и засегнатите страни.
Конференцијата беше организирана во рамки на проектот „Вклучени граѓани за одговорно и транспарентно Собрание“, кој Граѓанската асоцијација МОСТ го имплементира од јули 2016 до март 2018, а е поддржан од страна на Британската амбасада Скопје.
Во рамките на проектот ќе се подготвуваат периодични извештаи кои ќе претставуваат сублимат на резултатите од мониторингот на Собранието и ќе ја информираат јавноста, медиумите и граѓанските организации за работата на пратениците, како и за начинот на кој Собранието ја извршува својата улога регулирана со Уставот.
Извештаите се објавуваат на веб-страницата http://otvorenosobranie.mk која содржи и дополнителни информации и податоци за работата на Собранието.
Today, Citizens Association MOST in the frames of the project “Macedonian constituency engaged in ensuring accountability and transparency of Parliament” presented the first report on monitoring the work of the Parliament of Republic of Macedonia. The report contains analysis of the enacted laws, that is, the frequency of enacting and amending the laws in the period between 1 January 2016 and 17 October 2016 when the Parliament was dissolved. Also data on the work of the Parliamentary Committees in the period between 1 July 2016 and 17 October 2016 when the Parliament was dissolved and data on contribution of the Members of the Parliament in the work of the Parliament are part of the report.
At the press conference, besides the Executive director of MOST, Mr. Darko Aleksov, the British Ambassador in Macedonia, Mr. Charles Garrett addressed as well:
We hope that, with this project, Parliament can strengthen its engagement with citizens, with civil society, with business, to the benefit of all. We are delighted to support democracy in this way.
Parliament lies at the heart of Macedonia’s democracy. Current developments in the Parliament of Macedonia do no service to the development of democracy. They undermine the credibility of the institution both within Macedonia and abroad.
UK has been a long-standing supporter of Macedonia. In over two decades of partnership we have worked with Macedonia to strengthen democracy, with Parliament being our strong interest.
Our partnership with Macedonia, which already has a long track record, will continue. A fully functioning, transparent and responsible Parliament is the cornerstone of democracy.
The analysis of the processed data produced the following results on the work of the Parliament, committees and MPs:
Analysis of legislative procedures and frequency of amendments of laws
• In 2016, the Parliament has conducted in total 365 procedures for adoption of laws. There have been adopted 13 new laws, 326 amendments and additions to existing laws and 26 ratifications
• Even 93% of the total number of adopted laws have been initiated by the Government;
• 70% of the laws have been adopted in shortened procedure;
• Almost half of the laws or 156 (46%) were adopted in February and 71 (21%) in March;
• In one day, on 23 February 2016, 40 laws were enacted in shortened procedure and 1 law in urgent procedure;
• 91 legislative procedures or 27% of the total procedures refer to amending laws that already have been adopted and amended in 2016;
• Out of the 54 laws, anticipated for harmonization of the national with the EU legislation, only 5 were adopted.
Analysis of the work of committees
• In the period 1 July – 17 October, 16 out of 21 Parliamentary committees have held sessions. The work of the committees was analyzed through 3 segments: transparency, quality of the minutes and engagement of stakeholders;
Out of the 15 committees that have been indexed in the segment transparency, only 8 have got 50 to 65 index points out of the maximum 100;
The minutes from the committees sessions are not published on the web page of the Parliament;
Even though there were conducted 2 public hearings on law proposals and 1 oversight hearing, still the minutes, reports and conclusions from the events are not published. Only the shorthand notes are published. If the minutes and conclusions are not publicly available, than the reason for conducting these events is lost;
The transparency of the work of the committees is on a low level.
• Quality of the minutes:
Out of the 12 committees that have been indexed in the segment quality of the minutes, only 2 have got more than 50 index points out of the maximum 100;
None of the committees have meet the provisions for keeping minutes from the sessions that are prescribed by the Rules of Procedure;
The lack of unified way for keeping minutes and the lack of quality of the minutes, as well as of the published reports, do not provide opportunities for overall monitoring of the work of the committees.
• Engagement of stakeholders:
Within the monitoring period, there were conducted 2 public hearings on law proposals and 2 thematic public hearings;
1 oversight hearing was conducted but it has not finished since the Parliament has dissolved;
No public debates were organized and none of the sessions were attended by experts with aim to state their opinions about the law proposal that has been debated on the sessions;
In 2016, there were organized in total 12 public hearings on law proposal and 3 thematic public hearings;
Besides the presence of the MPs who are not members of the committees, usually the representatives of the executive power have a dominating role in the committees. There is a lack of essential and dedicated efforts to engage other stakeholders in the debate within the creation of legal solutions such as experts, practitioners, civil society, academy etc.
Analysis of the MPs performance
• In total 48 laws were initiated by 61 MPs;
• 25 laws were adopted upon the proposals from in total 48 MPs;
• 17 laws were unaccepted by in total 36 MPs;
• 1 law initiated by 16 MPs was not adopted;
• 5 laws initiated by 40 MPs were withdrawn;
• The fact that only 7% of the total number of the adopted laws was initiated by the MPs and only by the ruling majority (except for the laws adopted in the line with the Przino Agreement), points out that the Parliament was subordinated to the executive power, i.e. the Government indirectly has exercised the legislative power as well.
The project “Macedonian constituency engaged in ensuring accountability and transparency of Parliament”, will be implemented until March 2018, and anticipates publishing periodical reports on the Index on accountability, transparency and productivity of the Parliament. These regular reports will inform the public, media and CSOs on the work of the MPs and the way the Parliament exercise its role that is prescribed by the Constitution of RM.
The British Embassy in Skopje supported the preparation of this publication, within the project “Macedonian Constituency Engaged in Ensuring Accountability and Transparency of Parliament.” The content in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or the opinions of the British Embassy.