Strengthening Oversight Function and Transparency of the Parliament


To benefit Citizens whom they represent, parliamentarians have an important stake in law making including accurate consultation mechanisms. Equally important is their oversight function over the executive's expenditures. Also, the representation of Citizens as per their political power and regional affiliation reflects important features of an effective parliament. The intervention will address identified shortcomings both in the National Assembly as well as in local assemblies of Serbia, thus enhancing their democratic legitimation.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Governance
Legal and judicial development
Public finance management
Decentralisation
01.11.2015 - 31.10.2019
CHF 2'000'000
Background

In Serbia, so far, the representative function of the National Assembly is limited due to an electoral System with a single nationwide constituency. This System leads to an overrepresentation of urban areas and an underrepresentation of geographical devastated regions. Auxiliary measures taken by National Assembly members/committees such as extended consultation mechanisms can contribute to raising awareness about regional disparities and concerns.

The National Assembly also needs to improve its oversight over the executive power, e.g. by developing a genuine relationship with independent government bodies.

Similar to the National Assembly's function, local assemblies need to enhance their representative role and to strengthen their oversight function over local governments.

Objectives

The National Assembly and the Local Assemblies of the Republic of Serbia strengthen their representative, oversight and lawmaking functions and fulfill their role as key institutions of representative democracy.

The National Assembly exercises its three functions according to emerging democratic standards for legislatives as currently developed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. It is able to perform the legislative work in a way that it is domestically owned and meets the deadlines and requirements of the demanding EU-accession process. The National Assembly and the Local Assemblies better represent their entire constituencies and hold the executive to the account in a more systematic way.

Target groups

The Project will work with permanent parliamentary staff (to ensure sustainability), thematic parliamentary committees (to be selected out of 17 committees in total) and the members of parliament who spearhead democratic reforms regardless of the political party affiliation (to ensure ownership of activities and political support). This approach will be replicated with the local assemblies however be adapted to their capacities.

Final beneficiaries are the Citizens, provided that growing confidence in their representatives is justified.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1 - The National Assembly makes informed changes advancing its representative role resulting in Citizens feeling better represented.

Outcome 2 - The National Assembly applies greater legislative scrutiny and strengthens the application of its oversight mechanisms.

Outcome 3 - The Local Assemblies develop the oversight function and Citizens feel better represented.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Development Programme


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   2'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   2'043'046
Project phases Phase 2 01.11.2015 - 31.10.2019   (Current phase) Phase 1 15.08.2012 - 15.11.2015   (Completed)