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October 30, 2020
Open Parliament e-Network hosts the Global Legislative Openness Week

The 5th Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW) was hosted from October 26 to 30 by the Open Parliament e-Network a consortium composed of ParlAmericas, Directorio Legislativo, Latin American Network for Legislative Transparency, National Democratic Institute, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and Westminster Foundation for Democracy, working together to support legislative openness globally.

More than 20 events were held, gathering more than 2,500 participants including parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and CSOs. The week included activities hosted by parliaments in BrazilColombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Indonesia, North Macedonia and Paraguay; and CSOs in Armenia, Mexico and Ukraine that provided an introduction to open parliament concepts, contributed to the development and implementation of legislative Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments and discussed digital strategies to ensure the continuity of these efforts during the pandemic, among other objectives. GLOW also coincided with the approval of a new Citizen Participation Regulation by the Congress of Chile, an innovative initiative stemming from a legislative commitment in Chile’s Action Plan to increase citizen participation in the legislative process.

A key takeaway of GLOW 2020 was featured in the week’s final session — “Working towards an Open State” (available in English and Spanish) — which brought together more than 80 representatives from parliaments, civil society and academia to explore opportunities for parliaments to further contribute to the implementation and oversight of national commitments within the OGP framework. Reinforcing the critical role of parliamentary openness in crisis situations, the webinar also identified the need for strengthened collaboration between the executive and the legislative and judicial branches of governments. The discussion was moderated by Paul Maassen, Chief Country Support at OGP, and led by Irina Pruidze, former Member of Parliament of Georgia; Paran Umar Tarawallie, clerk of the Parliament of Sierra Leone; Cara F. Zwibel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and Maria Liz Sosa Studotti, staff of the Senate of Paraguay.

An “Open State approach” considers open government challenges and opportunities holistically across all branches and levels of government and is an inspiring next step for the open parliament movement. However, it also requires stronger mechanisms for collaboration, participation and communication among the executive, judiciary and legislature. These mechanisms can take the form of national agreements of participation in the national open government multi-stakeholder forum, the inclusion of commitments on open parliament and open justice in action plans, and other approaches. Consult OPeN’s resource on Parliaments and Open Government for additional information. Such efforts would without any doubt strengthen democracy at these times of unprecedented challenges.

The content of this press release was drafted collaboratively by OPeN partners.