Parliamentary Leadership

Monday, 22 April 2013, Cyprus

Address of the H.E. Trajko Veljanoski at the Conference of Speakers of EU Member States and Candidate Countries “Bringing citizens closer to the European Union “

Distinguished colleagues,  

The transparency and the openness of the parliaments are important instruments in practicing democracy. The Parliaments themselves should take care of seizing the possibilities at disposal to be open to the public and the citizens. In particular, I can underline that the activities of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia are completely transparent, in the direction that, every plenary session, every committee meeting, public and scrutiny debate, as well as parliamentary activities are broadcasted at the Parliamentary TV Channel. In this context, it is extremely important that the parliamentary activities connected with the EU integrative processes attract the attention of the public and the citizens.

Still, in the transition and post transition societies, such as the Macedonian society, the Parliaments themselves need greater support from the public and the media, and greater respect by other political entities in order to reach their essential role in the democratic life. When the state is in the process of wider integration, the support for the parliaments should be unanimous from the foreign international entities as well. The battle for respected parliament as a central democratic institution is being led in many states, and in this context, the cooperation between the national parliaments is more than necessary. The mutual support can become a significant factor for the individual establishment of the each Parliament.

Since 2005, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia has organized Days of Assembly, in other words, Open Parliament, when, through organized activities the kindergarten children, pupils from elementary and secondary school, students, special needs persons and other interested stakeholders are being provided with immediate information of the work of the Parliament.

In the framework of the celebration of the Day of Europe- 9th May, the citizens are informed on the activities of our Parliament in the overall process of European Integration in the country, as well as on the role of the Assembly in this process.

With the IPA Project for the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia (2011-2012), in addition to the realization of the series of educational seminars and workshops for the MPs and the staff, last year the EU Corner was established in the Assembly, as one of its basic components. The EU Centre of the Assembly is located in the facilities which have free access for  the citizens and other interested entities, and through brochures, books, magazines and other publications, as well internet browsing, they can be acquainted with the functioning of the institutions of the European Union, the decision making process, implementation, and all other affairs. It is expected, after the finalization of the reconstruction of the building, this Centre to start with the realization of the planned activities, following the example of other Centers.

The web site of the Assembly is an extraordinary tool for transparent and updated information of the citizens for the work of the Assembly, as an active player in the overall Euro integration processes. At the web site, one can easily access to data on the work of the National European Integration Council, a supra parliamentary body which has active role in the European integration process and which unifies the representatives not only from the legislative and executive governance, but from the civil society, religious communities, MANU, association of journalists as well as of the local self governance. The council, pursuant to its competences organizes public debates, inviting representatives from the civil sector, who participate in the debate through their proposals.

The citizens have a wide insight in the work of the Joint Parliamentary Committee- the Republic of Macedonia – EU, a parliamentary body authorized or direct communication with the European Parliament, and established with the Agreement on Stabilization and Association of the Republic of Macedonia with the European Union. In addition to the documents, materials referring to the meeting of this body, which are held twice a year, our Delegation to the Joint Parliamentary Committee publishes a Newsletter for the Assembly and EU, which covers all Parliamentary Euro-integrative activities. The Newsletter is available on the web site, and is being electronically distributes to the stakeholders from the country and from the Member States of EU. The Joint Parliamentary Committee holds informative public debates, inviting representatives of the civil society.

The direct contacts of the MPs with the citizens have got their part in the approximation of the citizens to the European Union. These contacts are being realized via the personal e-mail of the MPs, as well as the offices for contact with the citizens in the election unit of the MP. In this manner of communication, the citizens have an extraordinary opportunity to be informed on all issues of their interest, including the questions connected with the European Union. Appropriate activities for an open communication with the citizens, are planned in the framework of the newly established Parliamentary Institute.

In the Republic of Macedonia, the citizens continuously support our integration in the European Union. This is being proved by all polls since the independence of the state. Still, the constant postponement of the start of the negotiations may weaken the great support from the citizens. Additional burdening and unbalanced pressure may only decrease the enthusiasm and the preparedness for reforms. The accomplishments in the Euro- integration path should be respected and valorized. The Parliament should be especially respected, and every contribution for this process should be appreciated. Our European integration process must be moved forward, making the necessary step ahead, and finally opening the accession negotiations. 

Thank you for your attention. 


Follow us on: