Political Party Transparency in the Western Balkans

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Political Party Transparency in the Western Balkans

September 02nd, 2020

In the Western Balkans, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) works towards the improvement of the social-political environment on a range of issues including the strengthening of participative processes and inclusion of marginalised groups in decision making, improving the work of the parliaments in the region and supporting political parties to become more professional and more democratic.

Most of the parties in the region rarely provide citizens with detailed organisational, financial or operational information on their work. The data is not easily accessible and open through their party websites or other media. Most party websites lack or have very little information on party finances; they are not regularly updated with information on decision-making and party representatives; they are not interactive; in many cases they fail to communicate in all local languages; they are not accessible for blind or deaf citizens; and they communicate only in one direction – party to public.

To address this problem in the region, the WFD in the Western Balkans started to implement an initiative addressing political party transparency. Apart from the process of developing an innovative Political Party Transparency Index which is still in the design phase, in February 2020, the WFD published a call to representatives of political parties in the Western Balkans to submit case studies and papers presenting their views on political party transparency. The aim of the call was to raise the discourse on transparency by political parties and for political parties. In order to raise the discourse on political party transparency, the WFD invited eligible applicants, members of political parties from the Western Balkans or persons affiliated to political party think tanks or political party research institutes to prepare a brief case study on the transparency of their political party.

As a result, WFD is publishing a compilation of 12 case studies on political party transparency written by members of political parties or persons affiliated to party think tanks and research institutes from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo. On August 14th, WFD organised an online conference during which authors and other interested participants exchanged their views and discussed best practices and ideas to tackle issues of transparency with their political parties. We hope that this compilation of papers will contribute to a wider discussion on political party transparency and political party reform in the Western Balkans.

Read the study in English

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