Head of Governance Domain of the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia, Sascha Müller speaking at the Leskovac City Assembly at a Press Conference to present the new e-Parliament system

Leskovac, 26 September 2018 - 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.

The Project team developed a software tailored to fit the needs of local assemblies in Serbia.  The first ones to participate in the software design and implementation were the city assemblies of Leskovac and Pancevo. The new software was presented today at a press conference in Leskovac.

Following a demonstration of the new e-parliament system, the Head of Governance Domain of the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia, Sascha Müller, highlighted the importance of this system, unique in Serbia in terms of supporting electronic document management, such as decisions of the Assembly, local regulations etc. 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.

The Mayor of Leskovac Goran Cvetanovic thanked Switzerland and UNDP and noted that Leskovac is the first city in Serbia to introduce e-Parliament and adjust its Rules of procedure to the new way of work. For printing of documents alone, the city will save four million dinars annually. The mayor pointed out that the new system will also facilitate the work of the assembly and MPs, ensure consistency of procedures, easier access to documents and their safety.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Steliana Nedera stressed that, apart from the development of the e-parliament, Leskovac was supported in preparing amendments to the Rules of Procedure regarding the City assembly’s transition. The Rules of Procedure will enable Leskovac 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 Leskovac Assembly encompasses 85 tablets, two servers and a software, as well as expert support, with a total value of 170,000 EUR, complemented with 31,000 EUR from the Leskovac City for the development of the E-parliament.

“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.

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