Training Course 1: Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight for the Security Sector: Skills, Tools and Techniques

Where and when

6-8 October 2010, Batumi, Georgia

Description

From 6-8 October, CESS and its Georgian partner the Centre for European Integration Studies (CEIS) organised the first training course in the framework of the Georgia Parliamentary Programme at the borders of the Black Sea in Batumi. The course also meant the kick off of the second phase of the project, which will comprise of four training courses. The aim of these courses is to provide practical advices and insights on the skills, tools and techniques that can be used by those involved in parliamentary oversight of the security with the aim to strengthen the role of parliament. Special attention was paid to the importance of the interdependent relationship between the MP and his staffer(s). Mr. Peter Vanhoutte from Belgium, a former MP and parliamentary empowerment expert, explained the role of parliament, MP’s and the relationship with their staffers through an interactive exercise. Vanhoutte highlighted the ways MPs can fulfil an active role in providing oversight of government policy and the ways staff can assist in this process. Lacking assistance himself for a period whilst in office, he stressed the importance of such assistance. He also addressed the responsibility of the MP in the relationship with his staff mentioning the importance of giving your staff relevant tasks in preparing the MP for his work. In his career as an MP, he has often seen that this is not as obvious as it sounds: “Feeding the cat and watering the plants are not amongst these relevant tasks”. Mr Markus Broich, a Senior Policy Advisor and working as a staffer in the German SPD fraction for the European Parliament, focused in detail on the role of staffers. He spoke about the management of information and communication and the practical difference in working for a ruling or an opposition party. The last part of each day of the three-day workshop was dedicated to a simulation game. The aim was to reconstruct a democratic process in a fictitious country, with an emphasis on the role and democratic strength of the parliament. The simulation game was perceived as being realistic and provided the participants with instruments that could be applied in their daily work. For the instructors, it was interesting to see that the game was played with a clear ‘Georgian scent’, which gave an interesting insight in Georgia’s political culture. The second training course will take place between 30 November and 2 December. The last two courses will be held in 2011.

Programmes

Georgia Parliamentary Programme: a capacity-building and good governance programme

Questions

If you have any questions regarding this event please contact CESS.