Olgica Batic-President of Gopac chapter in Serbia

MPs in young parliamentary democracies often depend on being exposed to comparative good practice examples. Often international organisations may initiate and facilitate development of an initiative as was the case with our GOPAC Chapter in Serbia. Having in mind often hectic schedule of MPs in accession countries with a huge body of laws being passed through and limited capacity and fund allotted to the parliament, the role of international organisations with demand-driven initiatives and strong ownership consideration may be crucial in enacting initiative and creating networks.
Nations role is naturally implied through their representatives (MPs). Securing the utmost transparency of the parliament is what is natural and expected in modern parliamentary democracies. We have secured the full transparency through live streaming of all session and event in the Parliament inviting citizens to follow and take part through public hearings. Our work in GOPAC has extended to not only work within the Parliament such as public hearings that out Chapter proposed, mentioning the GOPAC work during the plenary sessions but also working with independent scrutiny bodies as State Audit Institution, as well as civil society organisations such as transparency.
It is though the personal effort one has to invest followed by assistance from the institution and if possible international organisation to set the system. From there on the MPs network and continue their work based on the topics presented before them.  We have seen the Moldova conference and met with colleagues. It was interesting and inspiring to form a regional GOPAC Chapter. We believe that MPs are the best ambassadors to promote the transparency and accountability culture which derives from their representative and scrutiny role.  The spillover may be looked within one country on civil society and citizens when addressing topics of general interest and raising them in the Parliament and media but also regional effect with countries sharing similar background on exchange and peer-to-peer learining.
We are living on the era of open governance and the partnerships being formed should be led by the parliament as the supreme state institution and vested with control function.
Since had been established  a GOPAC Chapter in Serbia (it is a young branch-Chapter which exists somewhat longer than a year,it created the possibility of  collaboration of parliamentarians (members od Parliament) among different nations, on global level, especially in the field of anti- corruption fight.
Naturally, corruption is a plague (disease) that erodes the different parts within one national country, and the entities  and factors who enforce and carry out  this fight.
Working together (collaboration)  is essential, precisely because nowadays problems of any kind can not  be viewed (considered) in isolation and at the national  level, but rather on the level of cooperation, support and assistance. Exactly in that, is also reflected  the power of  collaboration.That cooperation may  result in the signing of bilateral agreements, adopting resolutions and similar(etc) ...Ultimately, working together(collaboration ), resulting in  filling out(completing) of mutual interests, since the solution of every problem is preceded by his analysis, where exactly such sessions are extremely important. I think that these sessions should be held more often in order to this debate concretises  its objectives.
Possibilities for collaboration  on strengthening  the tools for assessment, training and education  should not be questioned, because it must  establish and exist.As  Ernest Hemingway spoke; No man is in itself a continent - if it is translated into the language of politics, then we can say that 'no country by itself is not sufficient,  hermetically sealed, and can not be viewed in isolation, without synergies and its relations with other countries.We  have to express satisfaction (pleasure) both  because existence of  GOPAC as well as establishing of its Chapter in Serbia, and so far we have been able to  discuss with our colleagues from other national chapters, we exchanged experiences, finding  ways to implement good practices in the  GOPAC Chapter work   in Serbia and to continuously strengthen the awareness of parliamentarians not only about their role,but also about the importance of participation in the fight against corruption. I think that they are representatives of the people and since they are supreme legislative authority they are most in charge (responsible) to deal with the analysis, but also to provide the modalities for means and ways of solving problems.
We have seen the Moldova conference and met with colleagues. It was interesting and inspiring to form a regional GOPAC Chapter. We believe that MPs are the best ambassadors to promote the transparency and accountability culture which derives from their representative and scrutiny role.   The spillover may be looked within one country on civil society and citizens when addressing topics of general interest and raising them in the Parliament and media but also regional effect with countries sharing similar background on exchange and peer-to-peer learining.   We are living on the era of open governance and the partnerships being formed should be led by the parliament as the supreme state institution and vested with control function.
In Serbia, the tools and mechanisms that are available (disposable) to parliamentarians, are more on the declarative level than they are exist,in real terms.And that is why I'd like to hear the experience of my counterparts(colleagues) from Canada and the USA, as  far more developed and advanced countries. I think that in my country, establishing, for example, the Agency for security investments represent a significant blow to corruption.
The path towards European integration, where is Serbia now,implies a decisive fight against corruption, which is reflected in the adoption of a national strategy to combat corruption action plans for its implementation, the adoption of legislation in Parliament with a strong, anti-corruption potential, exactly where members of Parliament can give its contribution as they can be low proponents, and amendment initiative is also disposable to them, where could be promptly corrected bad legal (statutory) provisions.
At this point,I have to mention that parliamentarians in Serbia show more engagement, as evidenced by the  increasing number of membership,precisely in GOPAC Chapter. Present parliamentarians, as well as the future ones  act (operate) together.Even though(although) they come from totally different political parties, in the work of GOPAC they are not spokesmen and ‘’advertisers’’of their political beliefs and opinions, but clearly focused on what is the essence of action (functioning) of GOPAC , and it is the struggle against corruption.

                                                                                                                     Olgica Batic
                                                                                            President of Gopac chapter in Serbia
                                                                                                                Laxenburg, Austria
     

 


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