Roundtable Discussion on the progress of the implementation of the Laws on Kosovo Judicial Council and Kosovo Prosecutorial Council

On December 27, 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and the Committee on Legislation, Mandates, Immunities and Oversight of the Anti-Corruption Agency have organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “The progress of the implementation of the Law on Kosovo Judicial Council and the Law on Kosovo Prosecutorial Council”, in Prishtina. This Roundtable was attended by members of the Committee on Legislation, Presidents of the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) and Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), Anti-Corruption Agency representatives and Civil Society Organizations in Kosovo. Participants had the chance to discuss the recently drafted report by the Committee on Legislation with regards to the implementation of the Law no. 03/ L-233 on Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) amended by the Law no. 05/L-233, and the Law no. 03/L-224 on Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC) amended by the Law no. 05/L-035. In addition, representatives from KJC and KPC have greeted the above-mentioned initiative of the Committee on Legislation, considering it very important to further enhance their collaboration with the Assembly. Bearing in mind the importance of the above-mentioned laws, as part of a crucial legislation package for the Kosovo’s justice system, on 20th September 2016, the Committee on Legislation established a Working Group to monitor the implementation of these two crucial laws. As part of this Working Group, GLPS has prepared a short report which thoroughly analyses the compliance of the secondary legislation on KJC and KPC with the current legislation on the justice system in Kosovo. Moreover, inputs, opinions, and recommendations gathered during the event will be incorporated in the final report drafted by the Committee on Legislation which in turn will be presented during a Plenary Session in the Assembly of Kosovo.

*This Project is financed from the Project/program promotion of the Democratic Society (DSP) financed by the Swiss Office for Cooperation in Kosovo (SCO-K) managed by the Kosovo Foundation for the Civil Society (KCSF). *

Venue: Orion Conference Centre, Prishtina, Kosovo.

Race for Employment in the Public Sector? What lies behind it?

On 14 December 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Race for Employment in the Public Sector? What lies behind it?”, at Hotel Swiss Diamond. The aim of this event was to discuss wage determination in public and private sector in Kosovo and Albania. At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented a Policy Report entitled: “The Race for Public Sector Employment in Kosovo and Albania: What lies behind it?” This Report is an empirical study which analyzes the wage gap in public and private sector in Kosovo and Albania. Moreover, it assesses whether the higher wages in public sector are attributable to the differences in the individual’s characteristics or differences in the remuneration endowments or wage discrimination.  Panelists agreed that the public sector in Kosovo and Albania accounts for a considerable share of total employment and as such could largely influence the labour market, more precisely the wage setting and other employment practices. Furthermore, they discussed the fact that if the government offers a higher remuneration to its employees compared to the private sector, the former may absorb the highly skilled workers. Among others, the panel discussed about the factors that could attract highly skilled individuals towards public sector, the effect it could have in quality of services offered by both sectors and potential implications that this could have both on domestic and foreign investments. To access the Policy Report, please click here.

Panelists:

  1. Mr. Haxhi Arifi – Head of the Union of Independent Trade Unions in Kosovo;
  2. Ms. Esmeralda Shehaj – Associated Professor at the University of Tirana;
  3. Ms. Nora Latifi Jashari – Executive Director at Institute GAP;
  4. Mr. Burim Ejupi – Executive Director at INDEP;
  5. Ms. Arbëresha Loxha – Research Fellow at Group for Legal and Political Studies.

 

Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond, Prishtina.

Launching of the Anti-Corruption Week in Kosovo

On 5 December 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), together with five other civil society organizations (hereinafter: Coalition of CSO for the Anti-Corruption Week) have officially launched the activities of the “Anti –Corruption Week in Kosovo”, supported by the Embassy of the United States in Kosovo. Under the slogan #bashkeendreqim and #unitedagainstcorruption, this five-day dynamic campaign is consisted of various activities like roundtables, public hearings with the parliamentary Committees, and other symbolic activities such as protests before the Palace of Justice and a concert in the Mother Teresa square. Through this activity the Coalition of CSO’s aims to tackle various problematic issues related to the Anti-Corruption agenda. Topics to be covered include the Public Spending, Laws and Policies in the Fight against Corruption, Integrity and Transparency of Political Parties Financing, Level of Progress in the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy, etc. The Anti-Corruption Week tends to create a momentum for an enhanced public debate on the corruption topic and to gather policy recommendations which would strengthen the efforts towards combating corruption in Kosovo.

The Coalition consists of these organizations: Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI), Institute for Advance Studies (GAP), Çohu and Democracy Plus (D+).

To access the catalogue of activities, please click here.

Venue: Hotel Sirius, Prishtina (Str. “Agim Ramadani”, 10000, Prishtina, Kosovo)

Centre of Expertise on Policymaking Systems in the Western Balkans – CEPS WeB

Under the support of the Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP), six organisations from the Western Balkans (part of the Think for Europe Network – TEN) have partnered to implement a six-months long project entitled “Achieving Excellence through Regional Cooperation”. Closing the project activities, on December 2016, partners have officially launched the Centre of Excellence on Policy Making in the Western Balkans. The Centre aims to enhance the efforts of the TEN member organisations by facilitating a more structured and consistent approach towards advocating for better policy making processes in the region. In addition, it will serve as a special unit that will work as a source of fresh ideas, innovation, knowledge management and sharing, and capacity building. Furthermore, the Centre is oriented towards creating demand and raising awareness of the necessity for policy research and analysis at the regional level where this demand is low, through joint policy research and advocacy. The project itself included numerous workshops and events, as well as drafting of a CEPS WeB Position Paper that can be found here.

On Thin Ice: Conditionality, Challenges and Reforms toward the EU

On 7 November 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies and Kosovo Foundation for Open Society organized a Conference on the topic: “On Thin Ice: Conditionality, Challenges and Reforms toward the EU”, at Swiss Diamond Hotel. This conference gathered more than 100 participants, including diplomats, policymakers, media and civil society. The aim of the conference was to highlight challenges that Kosovo faces vis-a-vis both good governance and European integration process. The conference was divided into three sessions. In the opening plenary, panelists focused on the reform priorities deriving from the Stabilization and Association process and Government preparedness. The second and the third parallel sessions addressed Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue and the Rule of Law reforms separately, questioning whether Kosovo’s Government approach to the dialogue process and rule of law is appropriate.

During the first session, Mr. Palokaj presented a study entitled: “The Upshot of the SAA: Kosovo-EU Relations”, followed by a discussion from the panelists on the importance of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, with a special focus on prioritizing reforms toward fulfilling the objectives deriving from this agreement. In addition, the panel questioned whether Brexit, migration and rising nationalism will shift the EU away from integration and enlargement.

During the panel on Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue, panelists discussed the current challenges to the Dialogue, its impact in the trust between the parties and EU’s enthusiasm to pursue this path further. In addition, they agreed that the Dialogue should be reformatted due to failing to provide concrete results so far.  Moreover, panelists agreed that the mistrust, lack of implementation of the agreements and nationalist rethorics seem to jeopardize what the EU would call a ‘European milestone’.  Whereas, in the parallel panel on the Rule of Law Reforms and EU Integration, panelists had the chance to examine current trends in the implementation of the core rule of law reforms while questioning whether there is sufficient political will to guarantee Kosovo’s credibility in the path toward European integration.

Plenary Session

  1. Mr. Isa Mustafa, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo;
  2. H.E. Ms. Natalyia Apostolova, EU Special Representative in Kosovo;
  3. Mr. Veton Surroi, Founder, Koha Ditore;
  4. Mr. Augustin Palokaj,Journalist, Brussels, Koha Ditore;
  5. Mr. Luan Shllaku, Executive Director, Kosovo Foundation for Open Society.

Panel I – Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue

  1. Mr. Lumir Abdixhiku, Executive Director, Riinvest Institute;
  2. Mr. Agron Bajrami, Editor in Chief, Koha Ditore Daily;
  3. Mr. Dusan Janjic, Forum for Ethnic Relations, Belgrade, Serbia;
  4. Mr. Fisnik Korenica, Group for Legal and Political Studies.

Panel II – Rule of Law Reforms and EU Integration

  1. Mr. Hajrulla Çeku, Executive Director, Ec ma Ndryshe;
  2. Mr. Arton Demhasaj, Executive Director, Çohu;
  3. Ms. Katarina Grbesa, EU Office in Kosovo/ EU Special Representative;
  4. Ms. Gjylieta Mushkolaj,Professor at the University of Prishtina, Law Faculty;
  5. Mr. Dren Doli, Group for Legal and Political Studies.

 

Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond, Prishtina

Call for Expression of Interest to CSOs interested in PAR monitoring

Call for Expression of Interest to civil society organisations to participate in the establishment and functioning of a regional mechanism for monitoring the public administration reform in the Western Balkans

Think for Europe Network (TEN) invites all interested civil society organizations (CSOs) to engage in the establishment and subsequent work of the regional consultative platform for monitoring public administration reform in the Western Balkans (WeBER Platform). CSO participation will be determined through a selective process which is outlined below. The WeBER Platform will be established with the support of the Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform – WeBER, funded by the European Union and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The main objectives of the WeBER Platform are: 1) to create enabling conditions for the participation of CSOs in monitoring public administration reform (PAR); and 2) the establishment and perpetuation of evidence-based dialogue between civil society, Western Balkan government representatives, and international and regional organisations and institutions, such as the European Commission, the SIGMA programme of the OECD (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management), the Regional School for Public Administration (ReSPA) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

Members of the WeBER Platform will have the opportunity to improve their participation in the PAR process through collaboration and to strengthen their advocacy efforts through interfacing with national authorities and international organisations dealing with the PAR. The PAR Monitor Methodology developed through the WeBER project will be available to member organisations of the Platform, which will facilitate the future preparation of both national and regional PAR monitoring reports. Ultimately, application of the PAR Monitor methodology will not only monitor the progress in PAR in each Western Balkan country, but will allow for regional benchmarking and comparison of countries through a regional PAR Scoreboard.

Participating CSOs will be chosen from each involved country through a selection process which will determine up to five CSOs from each country that are deemed to have the most relevant experience in public administration reform. These selected CSOs will be involved in the work of the WeBER Platform. Given that the selection process for overall membership will be carried out in parallel in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia it is expected that the WeBER Platform will comprise up to 25 CSOs from the Western Balkan region. The WeBER Platform will be formally established on the margins of the Annual ReSPA Conference on November 16, 2016, in Danilovgrad and Podgorica, Montenegro.

If you wish to become a member and contribute to the activities of the WeBER Platform, please send an Expression of Interest (EoI) in the form of a letter. The EoI should include a statement detailing the organization’s motivation to become a member of the Platform, cite organisational references in PAR and should be accompanied by the CVs of two members of staff working on PAR who would be directly involved in the work of the Platform.

All the necessary documents should be submitted in English to ten@europeanpolicy.org, by October 5, 2016.

To access the Call for Expression, please click here.

Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Ms. Njomza Arifi at  njomza.arifi@legalpoliticalstudies.org

* The Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform (WeBER), funded by the European Union and co-funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is dedicated to increasing the relevance, participation and capacity of civil society organisations and media in the Western Balkans to advocate for and influence the design and implementation of public administration reform. WeBER is implemented by six policy-oriented think tanks from Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia gathered within the Think for Europe Network (TEN), with the support and mentorship of the European Policy Centre (EPC) from Brussels. By partnering up with the EPC WeBER will ensure EU level visibility.