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The Riksdag’s democratic development cooperation with North Macedonia has begun

10 December 2020 klockan 16.14

Gender equality and the importance of opposition are examples of themes for the Riksdag's newly started democratic development cooperation with the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia. This was agreed upon when the parliaments of the two countries held their first digital meeting on 7 December. The cooperation is planned to continue for two to three years with the possibility of an extension and is headed by a steering group consisting of representatives of all the parties of the Riksdag.

The first meeting between the parliaments was held digitally on account of the corona pandemic. The Third Deputy Speaker Kerstin Lundgren (Centre Party) and the Second Deputy Speaker Lotta Johnsson Fornarve (Left Party) participated from a room at the Riksdag. Photo: Anders Löwdin

- I am really looking forward to our democracy cooperation with North Macedonia and it is really great that we have now got started. I am convinced that we have much to learn from each other, says Second Deputy Speaker Lotta Johnsson Fornarve (Left Party), Chair of the steering group.

During 2020, the Riksdag has begun democracy development cooperation with the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia. The cooperation is aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and conveying democratic values and is based on a decision taken by the Riksdag Board. The Riksdag's part of this cooperation is led by a parliamentary steering group consisting of representatives from all eight parties of the Riksdag. The steering group is headed by Second Deputy Speaker Lotta Johnsson Fornarve (Left Party) and the Third Deputy Speaker Kerstin Lundgren (Centre Party). An equivalent steering group has been appointed by the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Digital first meeting

The cooperation is to concern strengthening democratic institutions through mutual exchange focusing on exchange of experience between parliamentarians, relationship-building between parliaments, strengthened processes and administration. An initial meeting between the two parliaments was planned to be held during the autumn, but on account of the corona pandemic physical meetings have been postponed to the future. As a complement to these, instead a digital meeting was held between the two parliamentary steering groups. At the meeting there was discussion about which issues the two parliaments should cooperate on. In addition to this, the corona pandemic was discussed, as were challenges posed by the pandemic for work at the two parliaments.

- It's fantastic that despite the pandemic we have today now begun our cooperation digitally with the newly elected parliament in North Macedonia in order to strengthen democracy through parliament. We extend our invitation with the participation of all parties and they have returned our invitation with a clear range of political views and will, says Third Deputy Speaker Kerstin Lundgren (Centre Party), Deputy Chair of the steering group.

Gender equality and the importance of opposition examples of themes

At the digital meeting, the groups agreed that gender equality, the importance of representation and opposition as well as the relationship with voters and civil society are issues to be dealt with during our cooperation. Other issues that could be dealt with as part of this cooperation are the legislative role of parliament, parliamentary control and openness and transparency. The cooperation is to be demand-driven and will take place in different forms, both at the Riksdag and in North Macedonia with elements including study visits, presentations, seminars and meeting.

Parliamentary steering group

Members

  • Chair Lotta Johnsson Fornarve (Left Party), Second Deputy Speaker
  • Deputy Chair Kerstin Lundgren (Centre Party), Third Deputy Speaker
  • Pyry Niemi (Social Democratic Party)
  • Karin Enström (Moderate Party)
  • Björn Söder (Sweden Democrats)
  • Per Schöldberg (Centre Party)
  • Yasmine Posio (Left Party)
  • Sofia Damm (Christian Democrats)
  • Joar Forssell (Liberal Party)
  • Anna Sibinska (Green Party)

Deputy members

  • Teres Lindberg (Social Democratic Party)
  • Magdalena Schröder (Moderate Party)
  • Ludvig Aspling (Sweden Democrats)
  • Helena Vilhelmsson (Centre Party)
  • Mia Sydow Mölleby (Left Party)
  • Lars Adaktusson (Christian Democrats)
  • Nina Lundström (Liberal Party)
  • Camilla Hansén (Green Party)

The Riksdag's democratic development cooperation

Starting in 2020, the Riksdag is working with democratic development cooperation with one to two parliaments in the Eastern Partnership or in the Western Balkans. The cooperation with the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia is the first of these.

Contact person for the media

Lena Eklöf, Secretary of the steering group, email: lena.eklof@riksdagen.se, telephone: +46 70 993 47 82