Project to support the parliamentary administration
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supported the Parliament of North Macedonia from 2010 to 2019 by financing the activities of a new parliamentary institute responsible for conducting analyses for members of parliament and informing citizens about the role and functioning of the parliamentary assembly.
In November 2016, during a study visit in Switzerland, a delegation from the Macedonian Parliamentary Institute expressed the wish to benefit from the support of the Swiss Parliamentary Services (SPS) in the field of civic education and guided tours of Parliament. In response to this request, a small SPS delegation travelled to Skopje in May 2017 to evaluate the Institute’s activities. At the end of its mission, the Swiss delegation submitted a number of recommendations for optimising the Institute’s activities.
Following Switzerland’s example, the Institute has set up an online reservation system for tours of the Macedonian Parliament. The system also offers Macedonian citizens the opportunity to virtually tour the building of the parliamentary assembly, similar to Switzerland’s
virtual tour of its Parliament. Furthermore, based on the role-playing game ‘Mon point de vue’ (website available in German, French and Italian) developed by the SPS, the Parliamentary Institute created a new civic education programme, which was launched in March 2019. An SPS delegation attended the launch of the programme in order to provide critical feedback. To promote its own role-playing game for schools, the Macedonian Parliamentary Institute produced a
video on its collaboration with the SPS. As far as public finances are concerned, two staff members from Finance Committees’s Secretariat participated in a regional conference in 2017 organised by the Institute in Skopje to explain how Swiss Parliament examines the federal budget and accounts. They also wrote a research paper in the first quarter of 2018 on the topics of public debt and the debt brake. The paper was then presented to an audience of MPs and employees of the Macedonian Parliament. In addition, in June 2018, a staff member from the Secretariat of the Political Institutions Committees attended a conference focussing on citizen participation to explain the mechanisms of direct democracy and the role of the Federal Assembly in this context.
As a follow-up to the support provided to the Parliamentary Institute, the SDC launched a new
programme for the period 2019 to 2029 to support the Parliament of North Macedonia in its various functions. The programme focuses on three areas: institutional development, legislative controls and procedures, and relations with the public. The SPS will also participate in this project, although no concrete activities have been started as of yet. Following online-only contact due to the pandemic, an in-person workshop in the field of IT (Ticketing System) and another on how the North Macedonian and Swiss parliaments examine the financial budget and exercise oversight could be held in September 2021 in Skopje. Cooperation in these two areas is continuing.
Swiss Parliament’s assessment mission for the Parliament of North Macedonia (May 2017)
Study visit in Bern by a delegation from the Parliament of North Macedonia (November 2017)
Follow-up mission to implement the Swiss Parliament’s recommendations in Skopje (March 2018)
Participation of the Swiss Parliament in a conference in Skopje on the role of parliament in citizen participation (June 2018)