3 and 4 April 2012 Participants of the international conference on “Cooperation of the National Parliaments and Independent Regulatory Bodies in South-East Europe”
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
International Conference on “Cooperation of the National Parliaments and Independent Regulatory Bodies in South-East Europe”
On 3 and 4 April 2012, the National Assembly House hosted the international conference on “Cooperation of the National Parliaments and Independent Regulatory Bodies in South-East Europe”, organised by the National Assembly and European Movement in Serbia, with the support of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, USAID and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
In her opening address, National Assembly Speaker Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic stated that the conference was organised as part of Serbia’s presiding over the South-East Europe Cooperation Process and is also the result of attempts to further improve the relationship and cooperation between national parliaments and independent regulatory bodies and exchange experiences gained in the process with the countries in the region. The National Assembly Speaker shared her deep belief that meetings such as this one help further regional parliamentary cooperation.
Dimitrios Kypreos, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, deemed that the conference strongly contributes to regional cooperation and the improvement of democratic institutions in South-East European states. He emphasised that the OSCE Mission to Serbia was dedicated to strengthening independent regulatory bodies in Serbia as they contribute to the parliament’s control function over the executive and act as mediators between the citizens and the state.
In the opening part of the conference the participants were also addressed by the President of the European Movement in Serbia Vlastimir Matejic, who stated that observing the rule of law, human and minority rights and combating corruption in society call for the creation of independent regulatory bodies, as well as the establishment of their constant and structural cooperation with the parliament, executive, civil society and the development of international cooperation in the sphere.
In the course of the two-day conference and its five panels, the participants – Members of Parliament and parliamentarians of the states in the region, representatives of independent regulatory bodies of South-East European states and the civil sector, discussed the various aspects of the relationship and cooperation of parliaments and independent regulatory bodies.
Speaking of the international influence and relationship between the parliament and independent regulatory bodies, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gordana Comic stressed that by establishing independent regulatory bodies, the parliaments gave up part of their power which is good for the citizens, the parliament and democracy. However, it is not enough that the National Assembly adopts a law and forms an independent regulatory body - further attention should be paid to the implementation of laws and building a partnership in everyday operation. It is necessary to analyse the experience of developed democracies, their mistakes and examples of good practice in the field, stressed the National Assembly Deputy Speaker.
Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic and Anti-Corruption Agency Director Zorana Markovic declared the creation of independent regulatory bodies in Serbia a sign of significant progress, and it is now only a matter of further promoting cooperation. This is a delicate institutional relationship as it is made up or intertwining hierarchy and cooperation. It is essential to avoid any type of rivalry and establish a partnership between parliaments and independent regulatory bodies, Jankovic and Markovic agreed. Executive Director of the Fund for an Open Society Jadranka Jelincic spoke on the topic, while Polona Tepina, Republic of Slovenia Information Commissioner's legal advisor presented the Slovenian experiences.
In the continuation of the conference, Republic of Serbia Equality Protection Commissioner Nevena Petrusic and representatives of various independent regulatory bodies from Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro discussed their respective states’ experiences of independent regulatory bodies’ participation in the legislative process and their initiatives toward the parliament.
On the second day of the conference, the panelists and participants tackled the issues of horizontal cooperation of parliaments and independent regulatory bodies in regard to accountability, as well as the effects of annual reports of independent regulatory bodies.
The representatives of the South-East European states’ civil sector debated the issues of civil society organisations’ perspective, their inclusion, involvement and influence on the work of the independent regulatory bodies and the development of their relationship with the parliament.
As a result of their joint efforts and discussions at the international conference on “Cooperation of the National Parliaments and Independent Regulatory Bodies in South-East Europe”, the participants adopted conclusions and recommendations which you can download HERE.