GAP and GLPS held a press conference on the amendments of the Law on Public Finance Management

July 4, 2012

On 4 July 2012, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and the Institute for Advanced Studies GAP held a press conference at the Sirius Hotel to voice our reaction to the current process of amending legal structures in preparation for the commencement of unsupervised independence. By the end of August 2012, the ICO in Kosovo will cease to exist and will transfer their powers and authority to the Kosovo government and parliament. The current proposed legal structures support the transfer of many of the ICOs powers to the government rather than the parliament.
In particular, the amendments relating to the law on public finances allow the government to reduce funds for any publicly funded organization in the case of ‘macro-economic turmoil’ without legally codifying what might constitute as such. While initial power over the budget is vested with parliament, as is traditional in a parliamentary democracy like Kosovo, the language referring to ‘macro-economic turmoil’ is exceedingly vague and leaves much opportunity for the government to impede on parliamentary procedure and the responsibilities of a representative parliament over the use and allocation of public funds. The authority and power to devise and redesign the budget should be the sole duty and constitutionally-codified responsibility of the parliament.

Both GLPS and GAP consider this transfer of this power to the government rather than the parliament (to revise the budget in case of need or circumstance) as a hindrance to parliamentary democracy, as central to the nature of the Republic of Kosovo. The government should not be able to redesign the budget without passing legislation through parliament. Not only does this new amendment on public finance, resulting from the necessity to transfer the ICO’s current powers to the Republic of Kosovo, put representative democracy in Kosovo at risk by impeding on the rights on parliament, but it puts the independence of independent public organizations at risk wherein the government will have the power to adjust their budget in any case deemed as ‘macro-economic turmoil.’
The public reaction delivered to media can be found here.

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