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Home / Cis Inter Parliamentary Assembly

CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly

 

Composition and competences

The IPA includes the delegations of the parliaments of the CIS countries and operates on the basis of consensus (where each delegation is assigned one vote). It also includes a number of standing committees, engaged in individual areas of regulation, and has a standing governing body coordinating its activity: the Council (CIS), which simply includes the presidents of the national parliaments. 

The activity of the IPA concentrates on the development of the model acts, which could then voluntarily be implemented by the member countries (but have no direct legal power neither have to be implemented on the mandatory basis) and are therefore simply a tool of (at least, potentially) dissemination of the best practices in the CIS.

The IPA is not empowered to control the officials of the regional integration institution in any manner and does not seem to have any power directly influencing its decision-making. There are two main groups of documents passed by this institution: the “model acts” (which have been mentioned above) and the recommendations for the member parliaments and the CIS institutions, which, however, have no binding power.

So, in fact, the main task of the CIS IPA at the moment is to serve as a forum for meeting of parliaments of different member countries and to develop the “best practices”, which could then implemented in the national legislation. Generally speaking, the “model laws” are potentially a very important tool of coordination (comparable to the European open method of coordination) and often are more advanced than the national legislation in terms of both timing when the acts have been passed and their content (for instance, CIS IPA provided a huge legal framework in the area of civil and commercial law, as well as some areas of public law, including taxation, customs etc.). From that point of view an important role is attributed to the committees, which have to develop the model laws, which are then passed by the IPA. However, there has been only very limited acceptance of the model law in the national legislation; the model laws affect the decisions of the national parliaments only through informing individual members of the parliaments about the possible regulatory options – a function which is even less relevant now because the main agent initiating the new acts in the CIS is now mostly the executive. The recommendations of the CIS IPA have no influence on the actual decision making and are used, for example, as political declarations for sensitive issues of the international law.

The IPA and democratization

The IPA has an important role in the electoral monitoring in the CIS: an institution specifically devoted to the issues of electoral democracy. The International Institute of Monitoring of Development of Democracy, Parliamentarism and Protection of Electoral Rights was set up in 2006 and also established its local branches in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyz Republic in 2007. The objective of the institution, according to its statute, is to support the development of the IPA documentation concerning democracy and elections, provide methodological assistance to the IPA observers and to monitor the media reports on the organization of elections in the CIS. The institution therefore acts as the key element in the electoral monitoring of the IPA, which has been established since 1994 in Kazakhstan and could theoretically serve as an important center of information collection and transmission.
The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS regularly dispatches observers to the elections of national parliaments and presidents, which very often simply seal the existing manipulations and falsifications with their approval (and therefore, not surprisingly, deviate substantially in terms of the conclusions from the, say Council of Europe or OSCE observers) – the functioning of this instrument will be discussed in what follows.it members usually form the monitoring missions for the national elections, and the International Institute of the Democracy Monitoring is associated with the IPA.

 

Additonal competences

The CIS IPA regularly hosts specialized conferences, which provide a platform for debate of the governmental and even non-governmental actors regarding individual policy matters.

Finally, in 2008 the IPA established the International Dispute Settlement Center at the CIS Economic Court to facilitate the arbitrage of conflicts in the international economic relations in the region, yet it does not play an important role either.

 

 
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