Embedding democratic culture in the Western Balkans

//Embedding democratic culture in the Western Balkans
Embedding democratic culture in the Western Balkans2018-08-06T16:46:51+00:00

Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s regional programming in the Western Balkans has focused on how parliaments monitor spending and how accessible related information is to the public. The regional activities work with eight parliaments in six countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) as well as other public institutions.

The breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and the creation of six separate states exasperated ethnic tensions and nationalist rhetoric that to some extent still frame politics in the region today. As the region’s countries move towards European integration, well-functioning institutions that pass quality legislation, monitor the work of governments and, critically, represent and promote the interests of all citizens, is essential.
WFD’s three-year programme (2015-2018) promotes good financial oversight practices in the parliaments of the Western Balkans, including review of annual budget allocations. The programme’s centrepiece established a Parliamentary Budget Office in the National Assembly of Republic of Serbia that has been active as a regional centre of excellence for nearly three years. The Budget Office provides analysis for MPs on Serbia’s economy, the Government’s Budget’s proposals, and other legislation which deals with fiscal issues. The experience of the Serbian Parliamentary Budget Office is showcased through the Network of Parliamentary Committees on Economy, Finance and European Integration of the Western Balkans (NPC), that WFD has worked with since 2012.
WFD is part of the regional ActionSEE network, established in 2016. Implemented by WFD and six partners across the region, ActionSEE produces a Regional Index of Good Governance. This measures the openness and transparency of public institutions across the Balkans against a set of indicators. Utilising this benchmark, the partners produce roadmaps to support the regions countries in enhancing their openness, promoting transparency across the region.

Regional data

  • Population: 18 million
  • GDP: $88.9 billion (USD) 
  • GNI per capita: $4996 (USD)

Programme data

  • 2012: year of first WFD programme in the region

Results

  • Established the Network of Parliamentary Committees (NPC)
  • Established the first ever Parliamentary Budget Office in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in November 2015
  • Established an effective board for the Network of Parliamentary Committees with membership from across the region
  • Established the first ever Parliamentary Budget Office in the Parliament of Montenegro in April 2016
  • Established a knowledge and information sharing partnership between the NPC and World Bank
  • Over 160 analyses developed for Members of the Serbian and Montenegrin parliaments

Implementation

Supporting Serbia’s Parliamentary Budget Office and the regional Network of Parliamentary Committees

Completed

Planned end: March 2018

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Team

Emil Atanasovski
Emil AtanasovskiRegional Representative
emil.atanasovski@wfd.org

Funders  

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