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Working visit to Croatia, on regional exchange of best practices, regarding the cooperation of Parliament and Civil Society

Zagreb (Croatia), 6 - 10 December 2014

Supported by the OSCE office in Tirana, from 6 to 10 December 2014, the representatives of the Albanian Parliament, the Agency for the Support of Civil Society and Civil Society activists, held a working visit to the Croatian Parliament.

The aim of the visit was "Exchange of experience on regional best practices to build bridges of cooperation between the two institutions, Parliament and Civil Society", in the context of integration of our country in the European Union.

During this visit, there were held a series of meetings with the chairpersons of several Parliamentary Committees and Groups, such as Parliamentary Committee for Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System, Inter Parliamentary Friendship Group between Albania and Croatia, Parliamentary Committee on Human and Minority Rights, Parliamentary Committee on Appeals and Petitions, Parliamentary Group for Service to Citizens, representatives of the Press Office at the Croatian Parliament and the director of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations in the Croatian Government.

In these meetings, there were exchanged thoughts, ideas and positive experiences about cooperation of Parliament with Civil Society, where there were also raised many questions by the representatives of the Albanian side about these practices.

The best experiences, thoughts and questions that came out of these meetings were mainly about:
  • The best practices of interaction between the Parliament and Civil Society in relation to Legislative Proceedings, Standing Orders and its Monitoring Processes;
  • Identification of the needs for capacities of Civil Society as well as the possibilities for its extensive participation in the work of Parliament;
  • Involvement of Civil Society and other groups of interest in the legislative proceedings;
  • Arrangement of public meetings with the representatives of Civil Society on issues related to good governance, policy making and decision making;
  • Transparency concerning the work of the Parliamentary Groups;
  • Involvement of experts from public institutions and civil society, in the work of the Parliamentary Groups; Development of volunteering programs with students of political science, to cooperate with Members of Parliament;
  • Preparation of conferences, seminars, joint meetings with civil society, where the main focus should rely on issues of public concerns, such as environment, public institutions, infrastructure, education, health, etc.;
  • Coverage of joint activities by TV and the web-pages of Parliament and Civil Society;
  • Establishment of consultative bodies related to Civil Society in every institution, in order to raise awareness for this sector;
  • Establishment of a regular training system for civil society actors in cooperation with the School of Public Administration;
  • Increasing the feedback from civil society in joint consultations;
  • Publication of an annual report which would reflect all the work and achievements in these public consultations;
  • On line transparency of all data about funding grants, this will show where all these funds go, what is the amount that goes to Civil Society. Also the publication of an annual report on public funding grants;
  • Standards and Criteria that must be met for public funding such as the application areas, the objectives to be achieved, and conflict of interest, accurate monitoring, target groups etc.;
  • Development of an annual plan for calls, in accordance with the most important national programs and the strategy;
  • Co-ordination of work with other donors within IPA program;
  • Human rights in general and minorities in particular; the solution of people’s complaints through an Advisory Body at the Parliament. Cooperation with the social service, with actors of civil society, media, local government, trade unions, police etc.;
  • Increasing services to citizens through phone calls and e-mails, by questions about the topics being discussed in Parliament; Also through other programs in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, such as competitions among school students concerning the Croatian and the EU legislation and volunteering programs involving law students who research and work for MPs;
  • Organizing open door days, particularly when celebrating national holidays, arrangement of exhibitions in cooperation with the national archive, open discussion in media and the on-line quiz on the topic "How well do you recognize your parliament?";
  • Volunteering programs including the best students and which are developed in collaboration with civil society actors, according to the American model;
  • Programs involving elementary school students (such as bringing essays under the topic "I wish I were a Member of Parliament"
Në fund të këtyre takimeve të gjithë pjesëmarrësit falënderuan njeri tjetrin për mendimet dhe eksperiencat pozitive, të sjella në këto takime të cilat do të jenë një ndihmese e madhe në hartimin e plan programeve dhe strategjive për të ardhmen.

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