On 5-6 May, the IIJ hosted its inaugural workshop on “Enhancing the Role of Parliamentarians in Building Anti-Terrorism Regimes within a Rule of Law Framework”. This workshop is part of an eighteen-month project funded by the EU Directorate General for Development and Co-operation to enhance the capacity and regional cooperation of parliamentarians to become full partners in developing an effective anti-terrorism policy consistent with the rule of law. Such an enhanced role of parliamentarians in the counter terrorism field will be beneficial for accountability mechanisms, civic participation, and overall adherence to international principles.
The inaugural meeting brought together parliamentarians, primarily serving on key committees related to counter-terrorism and the security sector from Morocco, Kenya, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malta, the European Commission- League of Arab States Liaison Office, along other international and regional experts working with parliamentarians. Maltese Minister of Foreign Affairs George Vella provided opening remarks. During the program, the parliamentarians debated and revised a series of twelve good practices for parliamentarians in the area of counterterrorism developed by the IIJ. The draft good practices memorandum was revised real time based on the parliamentarians’ advice throughout the program, and the revised version was distributed to the parliamentarians on their departure for sharing with their colleagues. This good practices memorandum on legislators’ roles to develop States’ rule of law-based sustainable counter terrorism policies will continue to be refined during this project before being submitted to the EU and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Ministerial.
Following this inaugural workshop, the IIJ plans to hold a pair of regional programs with national parliamentarians, an interim program with national parliamentarians and EU parliamentarians in Brussels, and a wrap up program in Malta.