By Our Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The European Union continues to support Pakistan in its efforts to strengthen good governance by signing a new parliamentary support project worth nine million Euros.
The aim of the programme is to further consolidate democracy through working with the National Assembly, the Senate and the four Provincial Assemblies of Punjab, KP, Sindh and Balochistan.
The three- year project will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in consortium with the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS).
The European Union will support the work of the six assemblies by strengthening their functioning in terms of capacity, transparency and accessibility as well as accountability towards Pakistani citizens.
Specifically, the project consortium will build up capacity regarding the parliamentary core mandates of legislation, oversight, budget and representation. Additionally, the functioning of administrative and support services will be supported.
The EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara, thanked GIZ and PIPS for their successful preparatory work and expressed her satisfaction in launching the project:
“The EU has been a steadfast supporter of democratic progress in Pakistan for many years and with today’s signature we enter the most ambitious phase of our support yet, focusing, for the first time, assemblies at the national and provincial levels at the same time. Good governance is the backbone of human and democratic development and plays a crucial role in poverty alleviation,” he said.
“We are honored that the Consortium of GIZ and PIPS has been entrusted by the EU Delegation and the Government of Pakistan, with the implementation of this highly significant project to support in the strengthening of democratic governance, and to work with the Honorable Members of Parliament and institutions that shape legislation and pave the way for the future human and democratic development of our partner country, Pakistan,” Mr. Tobias Becker, Country Director GIZ commented.
Furthermore, IP5 is the start of a strategic partnership between GIZ and PIPS under the aegis of the European Union’s ongoing engagements to enhance the governance structures in the country.
As an EU member state marking 60 years of a rewarding development cooperation with Pakistan this year, we also look forward to the opportunity to foster deeper ties with the Government of Pakistan through IP5”.
Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director, PIPS, added that “the EU’s Parliamentary Support Project certainly is a landmark initiative as it would enable the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) to work closely with GIZ in assisting the Members of Parliament across both sides of isles to develop insights on their arduous tasks of representation, legislation and oversight of the Executive by applying concepts of transparency, inclusivity and participation to achieve effectiveness and efficiency in Parliamentary output at federal and provincial levels. In addition, the project will also undertake capacity building of the Secretariat staff of all legislatures in the country.”
The new project responds to the priorities of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan 2019, specifically to the joint priority “Democracy, Rule of Law, Good Governance and Human Rights” and is financed under the EU’s development cooperation priorities from 2014-2020. Both strategic roadmaps support the implementation of the Vision 2025 and help achieving the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN in its Agenda 2030.
In Pakistan, the EU is committed to a stable, democratic and pluralistic country that respects human rights and benefits from its full economic potential by supporting sustainable and inclusive development for all its citizens. The EU provides Pakistan with about €100 million annually in grants for development and cooperation. Among other issues, the EU supports Pakistan in its efforts to tackle poverty, increase education, promote good governance, human rights, rule of law and ensure sustainable management of natural resources. EU-funded projects cover all of Pakistan with a special focus on Sindh and Balochistan.