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Online Platform Open Parliament Presented

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A coalition of civil society organizations presented yesterday, June 6, 2012, at the Ozon Gallery in Belgrade, the Open Parliament online platform (www.otvoreniparlament.rs) which offers an archive of more than 67 speeches and addresses given by the MPs in all 98 sessions of the Serbian Parliament held in the past four years.

Open ParliamentOpen Parliament

The platform offers citizens, journalists, researchers and other interested individuals an opportunity to follow, in a simple way, the work of Members of Parliament and contribute to greater transparency and publicity of the work of the National Parliament.

“Putting the MPs in the focus of public attention will restore the issue of accountability and responsibility to its rightful place – in the Parliament, where elected representatives make the most important political decisions on behalf of the citizens”, said Vukosava Crnjanski, coordinator of the Open Parliament project and Director of Centre for Research, Transparency and Accountability, member of the coalition that implements the project.

The website www.otvoreniparlament.rs will also publish recommendations to advance the transparency of Parliament’s work and activities and to improve the communication between citizens and their elected representatives, as well as analysis and surveys on the work of the Skupština.

The Director of USAID Mission to Serbia Susan K. Fritz and British Ambassador to Serbia Michael Davenport also participated in the presentation. The Open Parliament initiative was also supported bz Rodoljub Šabić, Commissioner for Public Information and Protection of Personal Data of the Republic of Serbia.

The first survey conducted under the auspices of the project shows that, in four of the past eight Parliaments, more than a half of all cities and municipalities in the country had no representatives in the Parliament. Furthermore, 13 municipalities were never represented by their own MP in the Parliament. The findings on the representation of municipalities and cities in the Parliament, in the period 1990-2012 demonstrate high level of correlation with demographic trends in Serbia.

The Open Parliament project is implemented by a coalition of five CSOs – CRTA Centre for Research, Transparency and Accountability; National Coalition for Decentralisation; YUCOM Committee of Human Rights’ Lawyers; SeConS – Development Initiative Group; and Zaječar Initiative.

The project is financially supported by USAID, through the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the British Embassy in Belgrade and the National Endowment for Democracy. (Source: CRNPS)

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