An opinion by the Council of Europe’s European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) recommends greater transparency on Kosovo’s draft Law on Government.
The draft should be made more compatible with international standards on democratic law-making, and it should give more detailed explanations.
A statement issued on Monday by the Council of Europe says that requested by Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti in late October, the opinion “fully acknowledges” the aim of the draft Law to limit the number of ministries to both streamline the Government and make it more cost effective and to prevent corruption risks.
“But the Venice Commission recommends that a sufficiently detailed “Explanatory Memorandum” be published alongside all future draft laws so as to satisfy law-making transparency requirements and to facilitate meaningful public and civil society engagement in the legislative process,” it says.
It recommends as a possible alternative amending Article 96.2 of the Constitution of Kosovo which says “the number of members of Government is determined by an internal act of the Government”.
“Should Article 96.2 of the Constitution be interpreted as precluding parliamentary intervention to define the maximum number of ministers, then the government should consider replacing the numerical limit with explicit criteria of necessity that must be satisfied to allow for an increase beyond the number specified in the relevant internal Government act,” the opinion reads.
It is also recommended to provide more precise wording on which bodies government may set up and under what conditions. The gender issue, which is merely referenced in two articles of the draft Law, also should be more properly considered.
The opinion was prepared under the Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme “Horizontal Facility II”, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.