Building International Standards on Parliamentary Ethics
The last meeting of the first working day was dedicated to development of international standards of the Parliamentary ethics.
The moderator, The Executive Director of TI-Georgia, Eka Gigauri spoke about aspects of attitude to the Parliamentary ethics and noted that the Parliament itself attaches high importance to this issue. The Parliamentary ethics document has been developed in 2004, though mandatory nature was not initially defined. The civil society put this issue in the stoplight in 2012 but no novelty is still evident. She raised the issue how mandatory is to share ethics and conduct norms and what sanctions shall be established for violation.
The former member of the West Australian Parliament, the Chair of GOPAK Oceania, John Hyde spoke about attitude to the ethics in his organization and noted that observance of ethic norms in Australia and Oceania regions is considered simultaneously with combating corruption. In this context, active participation of civil society and control are very important. He spoke about the facts and name Vanuatu examples.
Dirk Toornstra, Independent Parliamentary Governance Advisor, UNDP; Former Special Advisor on Democracy Promotion, European Parliament spoke about importance of development of the democratic culture in democratic countries. It is necessary to create the environ to define the correct behavior. As to the Parliamentary ethics – according to former MEP, they shall be mandatorily observed. “The actions by the persons with authorities shall be controlled and defined. It is the requirement of the civil society, though the Government itself shall be interested in it”. Individual actions by the politicians impact the rating of the institutions they represent.
The NDI representative, Greg Brown spoke about the joint project developed by NDI with various organizations – compendium of the norms of the Parliamentary ethic, onset 15 years ago. Establishment of ethic norms shall be gradual.
Peter Mossop, Democratic Governance Officer, OSCE ODIHR spoke about supportive events in development of ethic norms. As he stated, it is important for MPs to themselves define own code of conduct, though OSCE fundamental principles shall be observed in every document.
After the speeches, the delegates expressed their opinions and spoke about necessity of observance of the Parliamentary ethics.