“Supporting Macedonia’s Parliamentary Reform”- Westminster Foundation for Democracy
The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) is an independent foundation sponsored by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID). WFD specialises in parliamentary strengthening and political party development, while also supporting electoral processes and civil society strengthening. It does this by assisting in the development of parliaments, political parties and civil society organisations. It is uniquely placed to draw directly on the expertise of the Westminster political parties, members of parliament (MPs) and devolved assemblies, and British civil society and technical experts in all its work.
WFD has worked in Macedonia since 2008, on programme that supported different aspects of the work of the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia. In September 2017, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy with the support of the British Embassy in Skopje started to implement the project: “Supporting Macedonia’s Parliamentary Reform”.
The purpose of the project is to set the foundations for longer-term support to the Macedonian Assembly, through providing an assessment of human resource capacity, assistance in strategic planning and developing recommendations to improve financial oversight mechanism, transparency and accountability.
The expected outputs from the project are:
- Output 1: The Assembly has enhanced knowledge, awareness and information to address human resource capacities, strategic planning and budget preparation;
- Output 2: The Assembly has enhanced knowledge, awareness and information of practices and instruments to support enhanced financial oversight;
- Output 3: The Assembly is more prepared to enhance the openness and transparency of their communications to internal and external stakeholders.
PROJECT: “Establishment of Parliamentary Budget Office in the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia”
Since 2015, WFD’s regional programming in the Western Balkans focused on effective financial scrutiny and parliamentary openness. In August 2018 a new regional programme was launched to engage with eight parliaments across six countries, public institutions, political parties and civil society organisations.
Western Balkans Democracy Initiative is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom and will be implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro Kosovo and Serbia. The program focuses on enhancing effective parliamentary practices, supporting political parties to be more policy-focused and orientated towards voters and enhanced democratic dialogue and culture through supporting alliances for change around pressing challenges effecting citizen’s lives
Parliamentary Budget Office
WFD has worked in Macedonia since 2008 supporting the improvement of the work of the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia. In December 2018 as part of the Western Balkans Democracy Initiative, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, with the support of the British Embassy in Skopje started implementing the project: “Establishment of Parliamentary Budget Office in the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia”.
The overall objective of the project is to increase the capacity of the parliamentary service to support the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia in conducting systematised and meaningful financial scrutiny, through provision of relevant financial analyses and data.
- To establish fully staffed and operational Parliamentary Budget Office embedded in the parliamentary service of the Assembly;
- To provide PBO staff with capacity building and expertise necessary for them to be able to produce well researched, evidence-based analyses, reports and other products on budgetary and financial matters for the MPs and committees;
- To create a financial oversight culture and motivate MPs in the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia to request and use PBO products in the process of conducting financial oversight.
The establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office is the first initiative that will be implemented with the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia as part of the Western Balkans Democracy Initiative. The cooperation between the Assembly, WFD and the British Embassy in Skopje will continue in the frames of the program in the coming three years.