ROUND TABLE: The consultative platform at the parliamentary level would strengthen the sustainable partnership between the business environment and the Legislature
The Republic of Moldova, in its European course, proposes to create a permanent cooperation platform at the Parliament level to increase the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes. Such permanent cooperation platform represents a necessary and effective consultation tool in the decision-making process and creates the prerequisites for a sustainable partnership between business associations and the Parliament. These are some of the conclusions of the round table "Permanent consultative and cooperation platform at the level of the Parliament: condition for the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Union", held on November 1. The event, which gathered both deputies and representatives of the business environment and civil society, was organized by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Policies (CAPE), with the support of the International Center for Private Entrepreneurship (CIPE).
The public discussion addressed the measures to make the consultative process in the Parliament more efficient, assumed by the Republic of Moldova in the process of joining the European Union. In particular, the visions and ideas of what this consultative platform should look like, the way of setting up the consultative platform and the necessary measures to become an efficient and profitable tool, the Parliament's past experiences in the creation and operation of such platforms, were discussed. but also the expectations of the private sector from the future cooperation platform at the Parliament level.
"We want this discussion to contribute to the transparency of the legislative process and the smooth functioning of the public-private dialogue, including on the Parliament's platform," said the director of CAPE, Tatiana Lariușin.
"All the socio-economic development perspectives of the country are related to the European aspiration, and this also means a lot of responsibility, including at the level of public-private cooperation", said Sergiu Gurău, moderator of the round table and National Facilitator within the National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
During the event, the vision of the private sector regarding the creation of the permanent cooperation platform at the level of the Parliament was presented, contained in the position paper developed by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Policies. "This platform would represent a consultation tool that will bring the business face to face with the decision-makers, the best solutions will be found, thus creating a partnership with the decision-makers, where the business environment is heard. In turn, the Parliament will benefit from the valuable ideas from business, they will implement laws supported by business, and trust in the institution of the Parliament will increase", says CAPE jurist Viorel Pîrvan. According to the jurist, Parliament must start the process of setting up the cooperation platform and consult business and society in advance to see everyone's opinion on what this platform should look like; to regulate the procedures and rules regarding the activity of this platform; to establish the forms of cooperation within the platform (advisory councils in addition to permanent commissions, working groups, etc.), but also the ways of publishing information regarding the activity within the platform. Viorel Pîrvan recommends that the cooperation platform be launched and operational from January 2023.
The creation of consultative platforms is one of the actions that Moldova proposes in its European course. The relevant business associations and parliamentary committees will be invited there, every time they examine a draft law that has an impact on business, they will consult with the interested parties, members of the platform.
In this context, during the discussion, the representatives of the Parliament, but also of the business environment, debated the current challenges of the public-private dialogue, but also the expectations from the future cooperation platform at the level of the Parliament.
In this sense, Ion Creangă, head of the General Legal Directorate, Secretariat of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, opined "Parliament is open and collaborates with all those interested. In the Parliament's Regulation, we have the obligation to cooperate with civil society and those interested, as well as partnerships organized at the commission level. I believe that we must focus on the platforms of the commissions so that they are functional, and that all civil society shows its interest".
And Ana Calinici, deputy within the Legal Commission, Appointments and Immunities pointed out: "Public consultations are proof of advanced democracy in a state. No monitoring by civil society can exist if there are no good platforms to make the process transparent. We really want to improve cooperation and we have close cooperation with civil society, but we need to have transparency and better communication". According to her, the website of the Parliament is to be improved, and the internal communication processes within the Legislature will be electronic.
For her part, Linte Carolina, the executive director of the National Association of Milk and Dairy Products Producers believes that "Business is the one that puts into practice what the government elaborates taking into account the national situation. To begin with, there must be regulatory impact analysis and identification of sources for the implementation of these regulations".
Iulian Postică from the International Association of Motor Carriers added: "We have complete formalism and excessive institutional bureaucracy. The consultation process itself is a formality in itself and has the feel of a tick. Yes, we have mechanisms for cooperation and consultation, but it requires interest from at least two actors. It is important that the business is not only heard, but also listened to, and that certain opinions are reflected in the normative acts, something that hardly happens".
Recently, the Republic of Moldova, as a candidate country for the European Union, through an Action Plan undertook to launch and operationalize a permanent platform for cooperation with civil society at the level of the Parliament in order to increase the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Policy (CAPE) is an independent analytical center whose mission is to support the development of democracy and a functioning economy through public policies focused on the development of the private sector and the stimulation of private initiative. Through this, CAPE supports the participation of the business environment in the democratic process, the promotion of well-structured public-private dialogue, offers support to associations through expertise, facilitating the introduction of international anti-corruption and conduct standards, training and knowledge transfer.
"Economy without monopolies, freedom without privileges"