NGOs and Parliament negotiate cooperation plans

19 Nov, 2012

On November 14, representatives of around sixty NGOs met with Parliament members.  The meeting was initiated by the chairman of Parliament and organized by the Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF). The Parliament chairman, Committee Chairmen, Head of Fractions and representatives of different civil society organizations attended the meeting.

The meeting aimed to introduce priorities of different Parliament committees to NGOs and consider new forms of cooperation between the legislative body and the civil sector.  The participants also considered ways for establishing efficient communication between the civil sector and the Parliamentary committees.

Parliament chairman Davit Usupashvili noted that Parliament was ready to listen to qualified recommendations offered by the civil sector.

David Usupashvili: ‘We are willing to listen to expert and qualified opinions provided in different fields by NGOs.  I think the whole civil society should be involved in the work on constitutional issues in order to make the Constitution a stable, unalterable and viable document.  I am excepting proposals from you on any topic – all your words will be recorded, analyzed and considered to the extent possible’.

Further Usupashvili said Parliament transparency would increase and the civil sector would be able to learn about proposed bills and follow the law making process.

Tamar Chugoshvili, head of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, commented on the terms for the consideration of bills.

‘The previous practice of committee hearings did not allow us to be maximally involved in the process of bill discussions.  We would like to ask you not to pass bills swiftly and schedule the meetings so that to make it possible for us to take part in them and share our comments’.

During the second part of the meeting participants answered each other’s questions.  NGOs talked about concrete legislative amendments, like giving the status of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to those suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders, decriminalizing drug use, providing the transparency of media environment, integrating PWD into the public etc.

The Parliament chairman said each Parliament committee would designate one person as a contact person with NGOs.  Organizations would be informed via e-mail about proposed bills and the process of their consideration.   



Information about the meeting on the website of the Parliament.