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Wednesday, 30 September 2020 13:41

Meeting of secretaries general of Western Balkans’ parliaments

Good practice and current challenges in the Western Balkans’ parliaments during COVID-19 pandemic were presented

Deputy Secretary General of the Parliament of Montenegro Ms Marija Mirjačić and Assistant Secretary General Ms Nataša Komnenić took part in the online meeting of secretaries general of the Western Balkan parliaments, organised by the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

The meeting was dedicated to good practice and current challenges in the Western Balkans’ parliaments during COVID-19 pandemic by giving an overview both of the legislative and administrative aspect of the parliamentary work.  Procedures and experiences were presented at the meeting, which had shown to be useful in certain parliaments in facing the circumstances caused by the said pandemic, and they discussed challenges which, in that context, still await the parliaments. 

Deputy Secretary General of the Parliament of Montenegro Ms Marija Mirjačić pointed out that the operations of the Parliament of Montenegro were adapted to the circumstances that occurred as a consequence of the novel coronavirus, noting that the sittings of the Parliament and meetings of working bodies had been held with observation of all measures against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and with the support of the video-conferencing system, in order to meet the requirements to hold regular parliamentary activities. Ms Mirjačić noted that the legislative work of the Parliament and its oversight activities had been continued despite the pandemic, thus in the period since the first confirmed cases in Montenegro in March 2020, the Parliament of Montenegro held seven sittings of the ordinary session, including four special sittings dedicated to the prime minister’s hour and parliamentary questions. In September as well, following the parliamentary elections, the First - Constitutive Sitting of the new 27th Parliament was held. At the said sittings of the Parliament, a total of 37 laws were adopted, while 220 parliamentary questions were posed to the Prime Minister and members of the Government of Montenegro.

Deputy Secretary General also explained that the work of the Parliamentary Service was also adapted to the new circumstances, thus on-duty services were introduced, as well as working from home as much as possible, with constant rotation of the employees. This kind of organisation of work is aimed at avoiding the spread of virus within the institution as much as possible, and at the same time it enables the Parliamentary Service to work smoothly.

At the meeting, which was attended by secretaries general from the parliaments of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia, as well as representatives of the Croatian Parliament and National Assembly of Serbia, they reaffirmed good cooperation among the Western Balkans’ parliaments.

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