Albania: PACEP (Support to Parliament and Civic Education Project)
The Albanian Parliament will be supported to enhance the performance and professionalism of its administration and improve its representative, oversight and legislative functions. Educated citizens and engaged civil society contribute toward more accountability in decision making processes and benefit from a well-functioning parliament.
Democratic participation and civil society
Public sector policy
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Other OI
The centralization of powers into the hands of a single party, the sharp political conflicts and the active EU agenda require an enhanced role of Parliament in order to balance the powers, lower political tensions and play its role for the EU integration process.
Due to political instabilities and capacity deficits, Parliament has not been able to fully carry out its legislative, representational, and oversight roles. It does not have the proper financial and administrative autonomy and its members are more accountable to party leaders than to constituents. 29% of MPs are women - the highest figure in history.
Parliamentary capacity and use of oversight mechanisms are considered key indicators to meet the legislative portion of EU political criteria for membership.
The impartial and evidence-based data and research, critical to well-functioning of Parliament, is currently not available in addition to the lack of a technological infrastructure.
The participation of citizens in the processes of a country’s development is very minimal due to lack of instruments such as referenda and/or awareness regarding their obligations and responsibilities. Overall, there is a very low level of citizens’ trust towards the Parliament.
|Objectives||More aware and educated citizens are empowered to actively participate in decision-making processes in the country and benefit from a well-functioning and representative Parliament.|
The end beneficiaries are:
Assembly of Albania (Parliament); Central Election Commission; electoral constituents; CSOs; independent institutions, general public
Outcome 1 – Parliament administration fulfils its functions in an efficient and effective way.
Outcome 2 - Parliament improves its legislative, oversight and representation functions by better representing their constituents and holding the executive branch accountable.
Outcome 3 – Citizens claim their space in democratic developments of the country and are prepared to hold MPs accountable and influence reforms.
On Supporting Administration: Multi-year strategic Plan for Parliament is developed; human resources management of the parliamentary administration is improved; financial and administrative autonomy is promoted; main services such as library, archive, public outreach and research are strengthened and modelled according to a full fledge Parliamentary Research Institute.
On Supporting Members of Parliament: An integrated e-Legislation system is established and digital archiving is introduced; Best practice models for Committees are introduced; Parliament's role in monitoring and evaluating legislation is strengthened; new voting system in the Plenary Hall is presented; exchanges with other parliaments are promoted.
On Civic Education Part: Programming content for Parliamentary TV Channel is developed; Students benefit from voters education programme; public comments on draft legislation is improved; media’s capacity to interact with and report on the Parliament improved; Shadow reports for main independent institutions are prepared; Direct Democracy instruments are established.
Results from previous phases:
MP's are not satisfied with the quality of support they receive from administration staff. The number of staff (more than 60% women) is small when compared with other countries.
Strengthening the role and functions of Parliament is considered crucial during this time of government reforms and pre-EU membership. Especially important is the legislative functions that currently is hampered by the lack of prepared staff and technology infrastructure.
There is a need for having a consolidated research department that will support MPs with reliable and impartial analyses and reports.
There are some mechanisms in place established for CSOs/citizens to engage with Parliament; however, they are not utilized sufficiently. There is a need for more civic education activities in order for citizens to claim more space in the country’s developments.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Other International Organization
Oganization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
National Democratic Institute (NDI)
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
OSCE is responsible for coordinating the development partners active in supporting Parliament.
There are synergies and complementarities among Swiss funded projects on support to civil society, to local government units especially when dealing with local councils. A continuous coordination with implementing partners takes place. There will be continuous exchange with Swiss –funded projects in the regions that target national parliaments (Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo). The experience of Swiss Parliamentary Services will be harvested.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 6’350’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 4’559’118|
|Project phases||Phase 1 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2022 (Current phase)|