E-PARLIAMENT TAILOR MADE FOR NIS CITY ASSEMBLY
Switzerland has been pioneering support to the development and modernization of local assemblies in Serbia. Most recently, through the project “Strengthening the Oversight Function and Transparency of the Parliament – Phase 2”, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Switzerland supported the introduction of digital platforms to modernize the work of local parliaments. Nis City Assembly Speaker Rade Rajkovic and Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic met with UNDP Resident Representative Francine Pickup and Swiss Cooperation Office Representative Sascha Müller as part of the implementation of the E-Parliament project. The City of Nis Assembly is the first in Serbia to use software version adapted to the work of Nis parliamentarians. The system ensures greater efficiency of the Assembly’s work, saves money and allows for more users to simultaneously search for information, while having access to documents at all times. In addition to these benefits for the members of the parliament (MPs), e-parliament also makes the work of local assemblies more transparent and accountable for citizens. Apart from the development of the e-parliament, Nis was supported in preparing amendments to the Rules of Procedure regarding the City assembly’s transition. The Rules of Procedure will enable Nis City Assembly to adapt its work to digital way of working, as well as electronic voting, thus significantly reducing the time and cost of assembly sessions. Overall, the Swiss Government and UNDP assistance for the Nis Assembly encompasses 78 tablets, as well as expert support with a total value of 150,000 EUR. It is estimated that the City of Nis will thus save over 2 million dinars annually, which is the amount of savings in printing assembly materials. Also, by eliminating the need to print and submit documentation from the session to each Member individually, significant savings will be made. “Strengthening the Oversight Function and Transparency of the Parliament” Project is supported by Switzerland with 1,7 million EUR with the aim of achieving a more transparent and efficient work of the National assembly and local assemblies across Serbia.