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Opening the Parliament to citizens: why and how?

Morocco meeting

The Parliament of Morocco and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) organised a round table on the theme “Opening the Parliament to citizens: why and how?” in the premises of the Moroccan Parliament in Rabat on 14 December. This meeting allowed the officials of the two Chambers to exchange with representatives of European Parliaments on good practices for a better opening of the Parliament. It focused on concrete initiatives to open the Parliament to citizens, including the benefits and challenges of physically opening the Parliament. The meeting also dealt with the establishment of virtual tours, mobile parliament and the organisation of the parliamentary week whose objective is to bring citizens closer to the parliamentary institution.

This meeting was held in the framework of the project “Support to the development of the role of the Parliament in consolidating democracy in Morocco 2020-2023”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. The promotion of democratic governance is a priority area in the partnership between Morocco and the European Union as well as in the Neighbourhood Partnership between the Council of Europe and Morocco 2018-2021.

Supporting the Parliament is key in order to strengthen its role vis-à-vis both the citizens and the executive power. The EU's support to this project is complementary to the close co-operation between the European Union (European Parliament) and Morocco in this field through the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

The knowledge of the attributions of the Parliament by the citizens and their mutual interaction are fundamental elements for the consolidation of democracy in Morocco. To this end, and for a better opening to citizens, the Moroccan Parliament has put in place a few years ago, several initiatives to bring citizens closer to the institution such as the physical group visits, the virtual guided visit proposed by the Chamber of the Representatives or the establishment by the Chamber of Councilors of an administrative section exclusively dedicated to the conservation of the building to trace the history of the Moroccan Parliament.

The project “Support to the development of the role of the Parliament in consolidating democracy in Morocco” is structured around three main axes: to support the effort of the Moroccan Parliament to effectively conduct the monitoring and evaluation of public policies, to accompany the opening of the Parliament to citizens, civil society and other partners in order to effectively promote and support participatory democracy in Morocco, as well as to strengthen the inter-parliamentary dialogue between the Moroccan Parliament and its counterparts in neighbouring countries and Member States of the Council of Europe.