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Parliamentary Support in Southeast Europe

Parliamentary Support in Southeast Europe

Parliamentary Support in Southeast Europe

Parliaments play a central role in the democratic governance of the security sector, and as elected representatives enjoy a democratic legitimacy unequalled by other state bodies. Parliaments debate, approve, enact, and oversee security policies and laws, and ensure that they reflect national priorities and respond to citizens’ needs. In emerging democracies, a functioning parliament is essential for setting limits to the executive power and for safeguarding the respect of human rights.

DCAF supports parliaments in Southeast Europe to strengthen their capacity as institutional actors of security sector governance and oversight. Parliamentary development projects contribute to three key processes within parliaments:

  • Capacity Building: Equipping elected members and parliamentary staffers with the understanding, skills and knowledge to enable them to perform effectively
  • Organisational Development: Assisting parliamentary working bodies in the development of structures, processes and procedures within the organisation
  • Legal Framework Development: Assisting parliamentary committees in reviewing legislation and identifying legislative priorities to allow an improvement of security governance and oversight

In its parliamentary training DCAF combines a traditional lecture-based approach (ensuring necessary background knowledge) with a co-learning approach (ensuring peer development). Participants’ own experience is considered a key pedagogical input; the trainings are problem-oriented and reality-based, facilitating debate on the multiple demands that security sector reform places on practitioners. 

Current Projects:

Framework Project - Fostering Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector in the Western Balkans

The Framework Project provides support to national parliaments from the Western Balkans region in fulfilling their constitutional role as legislative and oversight bodies in the field of security and defence

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Example of past projects:

DCAF Parliamentary Staff Advisers Programme in Southeast Europe

The Parliamentary Staff Advisors Programme (PSAP) was initiated by DCAF in 2004 to assist security and defence committees in Southeast Europe to develop professional parliamentary staff.  

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Antje Fritz

Deputy Head of Southeast Europe Division