The European Union (EU) has signed a project worth €9m to support parliamentary development in Pakistan, the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan said on Thursday.
"The European Union continues to support Pakistan in its efforts to strengthen good governance by signing a new 9 million EUR parliamentary support project," read a statement released today.
"The aim of the programme is to further consolidate democracy through working with the National Assembly, the Senate and the four Provincial Assemblies of Punjab, KP, Sindh and Balochistan."
The three-year project will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in consortium with Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS).
The EU will also support the work of the six assemblies, by strengthening their functioning in terms of capacity, transparency and accessibility as well as accountability towards the country's citizens.
Specifically, the project consortium will build up capacity regarding the parliamentary core mandates of legislation, oversight, budget and representation. Additionally, the functioning of administrative and support services will be supported.
According to the EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara, “The EU has been a steadfast supporter of democratic progress in Pakistan for many years and with today’s signature, we enter the most ambitious phase of our support yet, focusing, for the first time, assemblies at the national and provincial levels at the same time. Good governance is the backbone of human and democratic development and plays a crucial role in poverty alleviation.”
Tobias Becker, Country Director GIZ said, “We are honoured that the Consortium of GIZ and PIPS has been entrusted by the EU Delegation and the Government of Pakistan, with the implementation of this highly significant project to support in the strengthening of democratic governance, and to work with the Honorable Members of Parliament and institutions that shape legislation and pave the way for the future human and democratic development of our partner country, Pakistan."
Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director, PIPS, said, “The EU’s Parliamentary Support Project certainly is a landmark initiative as it would enable PIPS to work closely with GIZ in assisting the Members of Parliament across both sides of isles to develop insights on their arduous tasks of representation, legislation and oversight of the Executive by applying concepts of transparency, inclusivity and participation to achieve effectiveness and efficiency in Parliamentary output at federal and provincial levels."
The EU provides Pakistan with about €100 million annually in grants for development and cooperation. Among other issues, the EU supports Pakistan in its efforts to tackle poverty, increase education, promote good governance, human rights, rule of law and ensure sustainable management of natural resources. EU-funded projects cover all of Pakistan with a special focus on Sindh and Balochistan.