The D4D Institute held the Agora Discussion on the topic: The role of assembly members and good municipal governance in the Municipality of Pristina.
Together with the assembly members, Violeta Emini Salihu from Lëvizja Vetëvendosje, Amir Simnica from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Endrit Zabërgja from the Social Democratic Initiative, we discussed the role of assembly members, the work they do to meet the demands of citizens and the discussions they do, continuously, with the citizens, as well as for the aspects of good municipal governance.
The number of citizens in public hearings is small, because the reception of communication and information about public hearings is low. They also emphasized that in order to keep the citizens as close as possible, they must fulfill their demands.
Violeta Emini Salihu said that our work and our success depend directly on the citizens, but we have a lack of funds. What I have noticed, is that we lack women’s participation in public hearings. My meetings with citizens are mostly individual, and I try to meet with each citizen continuously, but if we talk about women, their requests are more about infrastructure. We, as a Lëvizje, have meetings with citizens every Tuesday, and each of the assembly member listens to the demands of all those citizens, who are part of the public discussions. She also emphasized that a more creative method should be found to have a higher number of citizens in public hearings.
Whereas, Amir Simnica, has expressed that it is not a great privilege to be an assembly member in the capital, as much as, it is a responsibility to be an assembly member. There are many fruitful debates within the assembly. And what is worth mentioning is that in most cases we have a cooperation with the assembly members who are part of the opposition. There are many citizens who do not express interest in participating in public debates, and the best way for citizens to participate more in public hearings, is not to forget the address where we asked for the electoral votes.
While, Endrit Zabërgja emphasized that the role of the assembly member is quite specific, and the focus of the active assembly member. I believe that we have the possibility to turn central topics into local topics. It is not necessary to be in politics. As a group of assembly members, we aim to give more focus to professional training. He also stated that, to raise the level of public hearings, easier access and greater structure is needed.
This activity is supported by the Kosovo Foundation for Civil Society (KCSF) program ‘EJA Kosovë’, co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Sweden and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.