Parliamentary Leadership

Wednesday, 23rd September 2009

Address by the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Trajko Veljanoski at the Presentation of the Curriculum and the Training Programme of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in the Framework of the Project on Strengthening the Capacities of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia

Your Excellency,
Distinguished colleagues, Members of the Parliament,
Distinguished Representatives from the Assembly Staff, 

It is my pleasure to address you and to discuss the cooperation of the Assembly with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which is being implemented for one year and which is part of the three-year project.  

In this context, allow me to mention the past important activities: 

  • The three-day simulation of the work of the Assembly bodies and the legislative process in accordance with the new Rules of Procedure;  
  •  The four workshops on the work of the Parliamentary Groups, the work and control function of the committees, the evaluation, parliamentary recourses and research for the MPs from the Macedonian Assembly (Coordinators, Deputy Coordinators and Chairpersons) with MPs from the Parliaments of Great Britain and Scotland and Representatives from the sister parties from Great Britain,  
  •  The two study visits to the British and Scottish Parliaments in December 2008 and July 2009 for the Coordinators of the Parliamentary Groups and Chairpersons of the Committees, 
  •  The four evaluations of the training capacities of the Assembly with the program partners of Macedonia, and
  • The two evaluation missions on human resources in the Assembly aimed at developing the Strategy on Human Resources and Development of the Management Capacities for the Leading Staff in the Assembly.

We are expecting an even more intensive agenda and dynamics until March 2010, and the focus will be on training of the Staff, but also on the two workshops for the MPs. According to our agenda, which can be found in the Course Prospect booklet, the Foundation, together with the program partners from Great Britain and Macedonia, will organize 36 days of training, until March 2010, which will be attended by 150 MPs, members of the Assembly Staff and journalists.  

We went through an extensive process of institutional and legislative reforms, and we are facing complicated legislative activity on harmonisation with the EU legislation. To avoid certain weaknesses prom the past, we need high legislative consistency and monitoring of the implementation. In order to ensure active execution of this process, we need to permanently improve the internal potentials and capacities .

We consider that the joint trainings with our renowned partners will contribute in increasing the capacities of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia. In the period from March 2010 until March 2011 we expects intensified joint work and continuation of the trainings, aiming to increase the capacity of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia in order to meet the challenges of the European Integration.  

We have recently adopted the Law on the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, where we incorporated strong normative provisions for strengthening of the parliamentary capacities. Through the implementation of this law I expect the role of the Assembly to be strengthened, in the framework of the division of power, a concept which we all agreed on at the Conference in Wilton Park.  

With the adoption of this Law we regulated many important issues, apart from our good practices, also those that are present in the functioning of the contemporary parliaments. Primarily, this refers to the strengthened team work and coordination of the parliamentary groups, the parliamentary control over the implementation of the adopted laws, the active representative role of the MPs through the established communication with the citizens in the constituencies, the established financial autonomy and strengthening of the professional assistance for the MPs, as well as the need for permanent promotion of the overall legislative and control capacities of the Assembly. 

The Strengthening of the control function of the Assembly in the area of monitoring the implementation of the laws is very important for determining the applicability of the adopted laws, and the possible need for their amending and supplementing. Also, the target groups of citizens which are covered with the adopted laws could provide feed-back on the degree of applicability of the legal provisions and the degree of realization of the expected benefits from the implementation of the laws.  

The strengthening of the capacity of the parliamentarians in the participation in the legislative and the control process is gradually increasing every year with proper human and material recourses. We have realised more than 70% of the planned employments for the period 2008 – 2011, in the framework of the National Program for Accession to the EU. With the establishment of the Parliamentary Institute with the help of the donation and in cooperation with the The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the MPs will be provided with high quality and neutral analyses. Also, the Law on the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia stipulates the engagement of assistants for support of the work of the parliamentary groups.

In the area of strengthening of the efficiency and transparency of the work of the Assembly, we can point out several activities:

  • We are in the process of introduction of e-Parliament in the Assembly. We have invested significant funds (notebooks and desk computers have been distributed to the MPs and the members of the Staff of the Assembly);
  •  New technical equipment has been installed - cameras in the Parliamentary Hall, as well as new cameras for the Committee Halls for broadcasting the meetings;
  • We established optical connection and transferred the analogue into a digital signal between the Assembly and the National TV Channel, which significantly improved the quality of the broadcast on the Assembly’s Channel, as well as the opportunity for audio broadcast of the Sessions.

The technical equipment of the Assembly Press Centre was improved, and we have designed a new website. 

We also completed the Assembly Library Project. The Hall was renovated and now has two functions - location of the library and for the public debates, and it is equipped with modern conference system and TV system for live broadcast. The application of adequate software for the library is in procedure, and this will provide indexing of the publications in the Assembly. We are receiving various donations of books - so far we have received donations from several embassies, international organizations, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia (from the program for translation of important books from other languages), while at the end of last year the Assembly spent 1 million denars for books.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The activities I mentioned are aimed at establishing a modern European Assembly, which gradually becomes an example for successful transformation and functioning for the other institutions in the country, but I believe that this Assembly will also be an example for the other Parliaments in the region. I must underline and reaffirm that this is a joint achievement - a result of the team work and coordination which has significant support from our friends in the International Community.  

Thank you.


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