National Assembly Launches Second Annual Parliament Week

National Assembly Launches Second Annual Parliament Week
Ambassador Scott tours photo exhibition at the National Parliament in Belgrade
USAID Serbia

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 7, 2016

Belgrade, November 7, 2016 - The second "Parliament Week" under the slogan "The Floor is Yours" was officially launched at the National Assembly today. "Parliament Week" is organized by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the Open Parliament Initiative in cooperation with 60 partner organizations and institutions and with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the British Embassy in Belgrade.

During "Parliament Week" citizens will have the opportunity to participate in debates and discussions with MPs and councilors, attend round tables, educational workshops, and simulations of National Assembly sessions. Citizens will be able to visit the Parliament as well as participate in the 48-hour marathon of designing and programming apps, online discussions on citizen participation in democratic processes, and other events that aim to better connect and educate citizens about the work and role of the National Assembly.

During the opening ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Kyle Scott said: “Openness and transparency are important values of democratic institutions. Parliament Week, through roundtables and interactive discussions, is an opportunity for Serbian citizens to talk directly to their representatives. As Serbia’s EU accession efforts move forward, this sort of citizen engagement will be increasingly important, as complex and sometimes controversial legislation will need to be both adopted in parliament, and accepted by Serbian people.”

Vukosava Crnjanski, Director of the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) and responsible for the Open Parliament Initiative emphasized, “Our wish is to increase interest in politics and democracy and encourage people to publicly engage through Parliament Week. At various events during the week, all those who wish to participate in the debate on topics important to them will have a say and in this way show responsibility and willingness to create the kind of country they want to live in.”

The “Parliament Week” will include more than a hundred events and activities dedicated to the issues of parliamentary democracy and citizen participation in the democratic process.  It will be held from November 7 to 13 across Serbia.