“Transparency Forum” constituted

Following the consultation process between civil society members and media representatives, which have lasted for several months, and in an effort to find approaches to increase institutional transparency, in March, a joint platform of action of civil society activists and media was set up in Prizren, symbolically titled “Transparency Forum”.

This platform aims at coordinating and promoting the actions of civil society activists and journalists involved in the field of democratic governance; increase the visibility of civil society’s work through increased presence in local and national media; then to lift up advocacy capacities of civil society for more transparent and accountable governance in Prizren; and to raise citizens’ participation in decision-making and ensure their requests are taken into account.

This informal body consists of civil society activists and journalists of Prizren, who are active in the field of democratic governance with the mission to synchronizing operations of these stakeholders for enhancing the transparency and accountability level of local governance in Prizren. In its initial year of operation, EC Ma Ndryshe shall chair the Forum’s Secretariat, whereas its activities will be accomplished with the backing of the “Online Transparency of Prizren Municipality” project, financially supported by the British Embassy in Pristina.

Following in-house consultations, it was agreed that the specific actions of this platform should initially include advocacy for the adoption and enforcement of the Action Plan on Transparency in the municipality, overseeing the drafting, adoption and execution practices of municipal budget with the purpose of raising citizen participation, followed then with overseeing the enforcement of decisions and documents adopted by the Municipal Assembly, whereas public discussion forums will be established on issues of democratic governance and other matters.

Activities foreseen to take place within the current year involve regular meetings between NGOs and the media, organizing of roundtables and advocacy for democratic governance; drafting of the paper “Democratic Governance Forum in Prizren”, as well as juxtaposing debates with municipal decision makers, with community members on democratic governance, etc. In this regard, the “Transparency” Forum counts on the collaboration and support of all stakeholders of the society, in order to advance democratic governance in Prizren.