Between January 10 and February 1, 14 employees of the National Council visited the Netherlands to learn more about the democratic system in the Netherlands in order to improve the parliamentary system in Bhutan. The group provides in Bhutan advise and support to legislative drafting and inspection to enhance democracy.
The delegation visited among others ProDemos, Houses of Parliament, the Academy for legislation, Netherlands Institute for human Rights, the European Parliament and the Municipality of Amsterdam. Furthermore, they were trained in subjects including the process of democratization, research skills, communication, translation and human rights.
Implementation of lessons learned
The visit was facilitated by CINOP Global in partnership with CILC, Centre for International Legal Cooperation. CINOP Global based in ‘s Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, works worldwide on improving vocational education and facilitating international knowledge exchange. In April 2016, CINOP Global will visit Bhutan to coach the delegation in implementing the action plans in order to improve the work of the National Council Secretariat.
“What we have learned here is that collective responsibility in enhancing a successful democracy is very important, says Sangay Tshering, research officer of the National Council and head of the delegation. He adds that “civil society plays an important role in decision making and legislative drafting and an active lobby is existing. The Netherlands uses an open procedure where all institutions and individuals can give their opinion.
Young parliamentary democracy
The Buddhist Kingdom Bhutan, the ‘country of the dragon’, is situated in the Himalaya between China (Tibet) and India and has since 2008 officially a parliamentary democracy. In that year, supported by the new King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, a new constitution was adopted, changing the state of the country of an absolute into a constitutional monarchy, and the National Council was established.
This visit is part of the project ‘strategic management of secretariat services’ and is financed by EP-NUFFIC.