Western Balkans Open Government Partnership Dialogue

WesternBalkansThe governments of the Western Balkans have come together on the occasion of the Western Balkans OGP Dialogue 2015, in Tirana, Albania, on September 10-11, 2015. The event gathered around 250 participants from Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo) and beyond (UK, Croatia, Georgia, Poland etc.) representing both governments and civil societies.

It is quite remarkable that civil society organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Albania have managed to coordinate their work with governments, parliaments for the first time within the OGP framework. That’s what’s unique about OGP, it brings together engagement and action from governments and civil society alike.

Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are currently preparing and implementing their National Action Plans 2014- 2016. In June 2014, Kosovo made a commitment to join the OGP, and in September 2014 Bosnia and Herzegovina became the latest signatory country of the OGP. So, Western Balkans OGP Dialogue was an excellent opportunity for the Open Government movement in the Western Balkans countries and beyond.

WesternBalkasDialogueThe Western Balkans OGP Dialogue agenda was designed to encourage participants to learn from others about effective efforts to strengthen open government and how to overcome problems rose during the process. OGP Balkan Dialogue invites governments and civil society organizations of OGP member countries that experience immigration or transition of refugees, to act upon that humanitarian and human rights crisis in the spirit of proactive openness. The event included sessions on priority topics: High-level political commitment to OGP and EU accession, open data, improving public services, safer communities, anti-corruption, open budgeting, legislative openness etc.

The main result of this conference was the establishment of a Regional Forum, whereby Governments and CSOs of the WB will have the opportunity to share experiences from their respective countries of how openness can improve public services, drive economic growth, reduce poverty and corruption, and restore public faith in government. The regional approach will serve to highlight good practices and successful initiatives, address the challenges faced, and establish regional support and peer-exchange mechanisms.

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2 thoughts on “Western Balkans Open Government Partnership Dialogue

  1. Pingback: Western Balkans Open Government Partnership Dialogue | Brittius

  2. In this statement there are many mistakes regarding the process of Kosovo membership in OGP.

    The full History of the process you can find below.

    Best,

    Fidan Kalaja
    FOL Movement
    Co-chairman of Kosovo’s membership in Open Government Partnership – OGP

    ————–
    Process of Kosovo’s membership in Open Government Partnership – OGP

    On 9 July 2013, Kosovo government has adopted a decision (No. 08/139) to initiate procedures for Kosovo’s membership in Open Government Partnership – OGP. The Republic of Kosovo with this decision aims to join and implement the commitments of Open Government Partnership by instructing the Minister of European Integration to coordinate this process on behalf of the Government. Based on this decision, the Republic of Kosovo obliges the Ministry of European Integration to establish Coordination Group which will coordinate the process of Kosovo’s membership in OGP and which will be headed by the Ministry and co-headed by FOL Movement. Coordination Group under this Decision will be composed of representatives from civil society, business sector, public institutions and other stakeholders. With this decision, the Government of Kosovo pledges to implement all obligations that arise during and after Kosovo’s membership in OGP.

    On 19 July 2013, Kosovo Government through the Ministry of European Integration also formally commits to be a member of Open Government Partnership – OGP by sending a letter of intent addressed to the Supervisory Committee of OGP through which the Republic of Kosovo expresses its commitment to be a member of this global initiative.

    In order for Kosovo to have an inclusive and transparent process, an informative meeting is organized in which more than 300 organizations, institutions, private sector, representatives of OGP and other relevant stakeholders were invited. In this informative session, participants were briefed about procedures and the process of Kosovo’s membership in OGP. Also during this period, consultative meetings were held with various stakeholders including experts from OGP member countries with the aim of exchanging experience about the membership process.

    On 25 October 2013, Coordination Group was inaugurated and comprised of civil society organizations, public institutions, private sector and other relevant stakeholders. The mandate of the Coordination Group is to coordinate in general the process of membership, and also to prepare and develop the National Plan of Republic of Kosovo as a step forward for Kosovo’s membership in OGP.

    Coordination Group held a total of 5 coordination meetings regarding the agenda and responsibilities that arose from this process. Also, the members of Coordination Group prepared the campaign of online consultation with public in order to gather suggestions and proposals for activity from Kosovo citizens for National Action Plan, respectively for the fields covered by OGP. Also in course of this campaign, public consultations were organized in five largest regions of Kosovo with citizens, representatives of civil society, institutions and private sector at the local level. During these debates, we identified and addressed problems and demands of citizens that will be incorporated in the National Action Plan.

    Coordination Group conducted research and analyzed the legal basis and various reports of local and international organizations and institutions in order to draft a plan that reflects the current state and foresees actions which will improve the situation. Coordination Group also organized a workshop, on which occasion presented the findings from the work of Coordination Group, analysis of various local and international reports in areas of transparency and accountability, legal infrastructure, public consultations across five regions of Kosovo, as well as the findings from online public consultation. Findings were presented at this workshop, and the work in groups is conducted for final preparation of the National Action Plan of the Republic of Kosovo.

    Within this workshop, the entire Coordination Group handles every challenge, action and sub-action separately, in which it approved in principle the document of National Action Plan with total of 29 actions and 41 sub-actions. While on April 29, Kosovo Government has approved the Kosovo National Action Plan 2014-2016 (Decision No. 06/186)

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