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Parliamentary Oversight of Sustainable Development Goals and the Application of Post-Legislative Scrutiny Principles

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Presentation at the 14th Wroxton Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians, 27-28 July 2019. Based on a joint working paper with Franklin De Vrieze.

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Parliamentary Oversight of Sustainable Development Goals and the Application of Post-Legislative Scrutiny Principles

  1. 1. Parliamentary Oversight of Sustainable Development Goals and the Application of Post-Legislative Scrutiny Principles Dr. Fotios Fitsilis, Hellenic Parliament Franklin De Vrieze, Westminster Foundation for Democracy Wroxton, 27 July 2019 14th Wroxton Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians
  2. 2. Contents 2 SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze  Introduction  General results  Relevance of Post-Legislative Scrutiny  Basic Principles  Conclusions
  3. 3. Parliaments and SDGs  Adopted in 2015 (UN 2030 Agenda)  17 goals; 169 sub-objectives  Mandate for implementation  GOV  Oversight and control  ??? 3 World study on parliamentary involvement  Two-year study  Open data set:  To be structured across FAIR principles Fitsilis, F., and Zisioglou, E. (2019). Dataset on parliamentary involvement in SDG monitoring. figshare. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.7945628.v2. SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze
  4. 4. General results of the world study I  First public presentation + invitation to researchers in Yangon (June ‘19)  Full paper available  Dimensions: geographic distribution, institutional & non-institutional measures, budgetary issues  Stakeholder analysis (internal/external), e.g. government, NGOs and international organizations 4 Examined: 153 UN member states (79%)+ Parliamentary involvement: 64 (42%) Dedicated parliamentary bodies: 32 (50%) Extra-parliamentary involvement: 38 (59%) +plus Palestine SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze
  5. 5. General results of the world study II 5 Examined countries per continent SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze
  6. 6. General results of the world study III 6 Countries with parliamentary involvement SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze
  7. 7. General results of the world study IV 7 Countries with parliamentary involvement per continent SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze Continent # involvement # bodies % Africa 13 5 38,5% America 15 9 60,0% Asia 14 10 71,4% Europe 20 8 40,0% Oceania 2 0 0,0% Sum 64 32
  8. 8. 8 Types of established parliamentary bodies SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze General results of the world study V
  9. 9. Attributes  Parliamentary oversight & control  Level of capacity in parliaments may vary  Move beyond written and oral questions  Evaluating laws/administrative acts as a parliamentary function  May increase parliaments’ leverage against the Executive 9 SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze Relevance of PLS for SDGs PLS dimensions  legal dimension: assessing the enactment of the law  impact dimension: assessing to what extent the policy objectives of the law have been met
  10. 10. 10 To assess the impact of legislation, it is useful to review secondary or delegated legislation at the same time as reviewing the primary act. Post-Legislative Scrutiny provides an opportunity to assess the impact of legislation on issues which cut across different Acts, such as on gender, or on minorities. Parliament should consider whether responsibility for PLS is assigned to its permanent Committees or to a dedicated body. Basic Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny I SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze
  11. 11. 11 For any parliament to conduct PLS inquiries effectively, it needs to empower its human resources. It is useful when PLS can rely on official information, but it also needs the views and information of a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society organization. SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze Basic Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny II
  12. 12. Conclusions: Can PLS increase SDG efficiency?  Determine PLS point of conduct (commission; committee; external working body; independent state body etc.)  Establish new ways of parliamentary scrutiny of SGDs  Exercise pressure to policy and law makers  Use of parliamentary visibility  Aim at participatory approaches 12 Indicative action flow while performing PLS on SDGs SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze
  13. 13. … and one more thing  Fitsilis, Fotios (2019) Imposing Regulation on Advanced Algorithms. Cham: Springer.  Due: October 9, 2019  Structured approach to the legal dimension of algorithms  Regulatory aspects of the digital future  Involvement of representative institutions  Role of Parliamentary research services 13 SDGs & PLSFitsilis & De Vrieze Thank you!

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