Capacity Development for the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA)
Title: Capacity development for the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (CD AIPA) II
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: All 10 ASEAN states
Lead executing agency: ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018
The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO) was formed in 1977, ten years after the foundation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The idea of establishing an ASEAN Parliament was first initiated by the Philippines in 1980, and the member parliaments have been pursuing this goal ever since. On 17 April 2007, they agreed to form the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). The aim of this assembly is to actively promote ASEAN’s objectives, namely to establish a Southeast Asian community of states based on the three pillars of the integration process: a Political and Security Community, an Economic Community, and a Socio-Cultural Community.
The dynamic nature of the integration process requires more intensive dialogue between AIPA member parliaments so they can keep pace with ongoing political developments. However, the integration process has so far been steered exclusively by the ASEAN member state governments. The parliaments themselves are only involved to a very limited extent in parliamentary control activities, and their input is largely confined to providing consultations on the fringes of ASEAN summits. As a consequence, most AIPA parliamentarians do not feel they are kept adequately informed of current developments in the integration process.
The member parliaments of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly are better equipped to exercise their policy-making and control functions as part of the ASEAN integration process.
The project provides support for developing the technical expertise of the AIPA Secretariat and the member parliaments. It also offers process-related organisational advice, and fosters the exchange and transfer of best practices among the parliaments. One of the ways the project achieves this is by networking the member parliaments’ organisational units at an international level. This may include, for example, communications departments or research services. One of the primary support instruments is the provision of consultancy services by international and regional experts with an in-depth knowledge of German, European and regional practices of parliamentary development. Another comprises training measures for partner experts from the AIPA Secretariat and from the assembly itself. These include activities such as moderated technical or policy dialogues. The project also promotes the establishment of viable forms of cooperation with international institutions and partners such as the ASEAN parliamentary group of the German Bundestag, the EU Parliament and the Research Services of the German Bundestag.
The German contribution to development cooperation is being furthered through close cooperation with projects to support the ASEAN Secretariat, financed by the German Federal Foreign Office, and additional projects financed by BMZ.
The capabilities of numerous AIPA representatives from all member states and the AIPA Secretariat have been enhanced. They are now familiar with the function and mandate of the parliaments in the area of budget planning. In relation to legislative processes, they have learned how to cooperate with and involve non-governmental organisations. An AIPA intranet platform has also been established, serving as a channel for knowledge transfer and exchange. Additionally, AIPA has initiated a publica-tion series that aims to increase public awareness of the work it carries out.