Recognizing the need for establishing a comprehensive and sustainable “green dialogue” between different stakeholders, as well as raising awareness on environmental issues during decision-making process, an informal Green Parliamentary Group was formed in November 2009 in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.
The Green Parliamentary Group (GPG) is not a formal body of the National Assembly, but an informal parliamentary coalition that provides opportunity for creating a broader political consensus on green policies, maintaining at the same time Group’s independence from the individual goals of political parties.
The group members are MPs from different political parties, dedicated to the environmental protection and sustainable development issues, who are actively working on the promotion and acceptance of European standards and norms in this field.
The aim of the GPG is to improve parliamentary work in the field of policies, legal regulations and communication with stakeholders and citizens interested in environmental protection and sustainable development as well as to have the stated issues taken into consideration during decision-making process.
The GPG was established in November 2009, its work was renewed in subsequent parliamentary convocations, while the membership in the GPG is voluntary. It is an example of MPs gathering around specific policy issue and has proved that environment policies overpass different political options. By strengthening the MPs through four parliamentary convocations, we have created and continue to create “environmental policy advocates” within political parties, which later directly or indirectly influence a better legal framework in this area.
To date, over 80 MPs have participated in the work of the GPG. They have had and today have the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills, establish cooperation with colleagues from the region, and also initiate a dialogue with civil society organizations dealing with environmental protection issues.
Similar to MPs activities in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, an informal group – the Green Parliamentary Group was established in the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina during 2009, and it renewed the work in October 2013 and then in January 2017. The Group adopted the Rules of Procedure and its work has been institutionalized within the work of the Assembly of Vojvodina.
The role of the Secretariat of the Green Parliamentary Group is on two non-governmental organizations, the Center of Modern Skills and the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, which initiated the formation of the first informal group of MPs in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2009.
Our long-standing work with the MPs led to members of this informal group unanimously appointing our two organizations as the Secretariat. Through our work so far, we have also been learning and developing, improving our knowledge on the National Assembly procedures, work of parliamentary administration, but also have been adjusting to the MPs work dynamic.
The main role of the Secretariat is to provide help and support to MPs dealing with environmental issues within the scope of their jurisdiction, empower them to promote and work on these issues within their political parties, and continue working on them after their mandate as MPs expires.
The Secretariat is in charge of coordinating the work of the Group, communication and cooperation with the Environmental Protection Committee, other parliamentary bodies and administration, experts, colleagues from civil sector, interested stakeholders, donors. We organize meetings of the Group in coordination with the GPG coordinators, sessions with experts on specific topics, maintain a database of relevant environmental issues, promote the Group’s activities to the general public and are in constant communication with the representatives of international community in order to provide support and improve the work of the Group.