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Establishing a budget office in the Serbian Parliament

13 November 2014, London

During a visit to Westminster, the Speaker of Serbia’s National Assembly said that the Foundation would help to found a budget office in Belgrade.  Speaker Maja Gojkovic (pictured) said the move would help strengthen the democratic processes by enabling Serbian MPs to exercise greater scrutiny in the use of public money.  Located in the Parliament, the budget office is intended to increase the Parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee’s ability to improve accountability and cost effectiveness of government expenditure. 

During visits to Parliament in Westminster and Holyrood, Maja Gojkovic said that comparable British institutions, such as the Scottish Parliament's financial scrutiny unit, could prove informative in developing a similar counterpart in the Serbian Parliament:

“It’s been really helpful to draw comparisons between the way we work and how the British parliament works ... I’ve met the Lord Speaker in Westminster and the Scottish Parliament's presiding officer so we've had the chance to compare parliamentary procedures, share experience, adopt new ideas, and discover good practice that we can apply in the Serbian Parliament.”

The establishment of a budget office builds on previous work that WFD has done with the Network of Parliamentary Committees (NPC) which is comprised of 25 parliamentary committees on economy, finance and European integration from across the Western Balkans. Maja Gojkovic says the NPC plays an important role by bringing together MPs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, andSerbia:

“WFD’s support to the network is vital because the NPC strengthens cooperation by building bridges and confidence between our countries and our people.”

By facilitating a climate for cooperation, Deputy Speaker Vladimir Marinkovic says that the network also advances one of Serbia’s principal foreign policy goals – namely greater European integration and EUmembership:

“WFD plays an important role both logistically and as a catalyst for regional cooperation by encouraging the economic links that also make for improved political relationships.”

Although WFD’s current programme draws to a close in 2015, Maja Gojkovic says that the Serbian Parliament is pressing ahead with plans to secure its sustainability by hosting the network within the Parliament in Belgrade. 

Beside the Speaker Maja Gojkovic and the Deputy Speaker Vladimir Marinkovic, part of the delegation that visited the parliaments in Westminster and Holyrood were also Deputy Speaker VeroljubArsic, Secretary General Jana Ljubicic and members of the speakers cabinet, Mr. Dragan Blesic and Mr. UrosBalov.

 

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