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Challenges to improve parliamentary review

Round Table, January 23rd 2012, Hotel Tirana International 

The work of the Albanian Parliamentary Committee of European Integration (PCEI) and Committee of National Security (PCNS) in 2011 have been in the focus of an IDM monitoring initiative, aiming to contribute towards greater accountability, transparency and effectiveness of parliamentary scrutiny. The monitoring has analyzed the performance of both parliamentary committees by focusing particularly on the comprehensiveness of parliamentary review, formal procedures, cooperation with the Executive and involvement of civil society and other non-state interest groups in hearings. IDM presented the findings and recommendations of the annual monitoring for both parliamentary committees in a Panel Debate “Challenges to improve parliamentary review” on January 23rd 2012 gathering senior representatives of PCEI and PCNS, MPs, civil society experts, media, governmental and representatives from international institutions in the country.

Speaking at the Panel debate, the Chairman of PCEI Mr.

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Ditmir Bushati pointed out to three main concerns which have been also examined by IDM monitoring report – the alignment process’ approach, administrative capacities and support expertise available to PCEI members and the need to adjust the overall functioning of this committee in response to present dynamics of Albania’s EU accession process. The deputy chair of the Parliamentary committee of national Security, Mr. Ilir Gjoni welcomed the findings and advice of the report by considering IDM initiative as a first step to further opening PCNS activity in the field of security sector. The Chief of Political Section at the EU Delegation in Albania, Mr. Clive Rumbold emphasized the role played by civic actors in the improvement of overall parliamentary dealings particularly in relation to its legislative and oversight functions. Mrs. Jonida Smaja (Friedrich ebert Stiftung – Tirana) and Ms. Adela Halo (Open Society Foundation for Albania) emphasized that it is essential to encourage civil society to focus more substantially on the work of the Parliament. Ms. Halo pointed out to a number of cases of civil society actors being faced with various barriers to get access to parliamentary work.

Participants at the panel debate shared their perspective on the challenges of parliamentary review in Albania and proposed concrete steps to improve the situation in this regard.

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