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Agenda

18 FEBRUARY, 2016

09:30-10:00 Registration and Welcome Coffee
10:00-10:10 Welcoming Remarks
  Lasha Tordia, General Auditor, State Audit Office of Georgia
10:10-11:00 Keynote Addresses
  Yves Leterme, Secretary-General, International IDEA
François Friederich,Head of Division of Electoral Assistance, Council of Europe
Dr. Marcin Walecki, Head of Democratization Department, OSCE/ODIHR
H.E Jos Douma,Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia
Peter Erben, Senior Electoral Advisor of IFES
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00  Regulating Money and Politics, a Regional Overview
Moderator: Keti Maisuradze, IFES Deputy Chief of Party, Georgia
Speakers: Dr. Magnus Ohman,, IFES Senior Political Finance Adviser and Director, Regional Europe Office
Lisa Klein, IFES Political Finance Specialist
Prof. Daniel Smilov, Associate Professor at the Political Science Department, University of Sofia
Christophe Speckbacher, Head of Section, Secretariat of the GRECO, Council of Europe
13:00-14:30 Lunch
14:30-16:00  Parallel working sessions
Session 1, Ballroom
How to effectively increase transparency of political party financing and make politicians more accountable?
 Moderator:  Nermin Nisic, IFES Chief of Party, Georgia
 Speakers: Dr. Magnus Ohman,IFES Senior Political Finance Adviser and Director, Regional Europe Office
Levan Natroshvili, Project Manager, Transparency International Georgia
Varuzhan Hoktanyan,Executive Director, Transparency International Armenia
Septimius Parvu, Expert on Political Party Finance, Expert Forum, Romania
  • How to increase the disclosure and use of political finance information?
  • How can the role of citizen monitoring be strengthened to promote transparency?
***
Session 2, Meeting room King George
Discussion on the influence of illicit finance over politics and the relationship between policy making, corporate elites, and organized crime 
Moderator: Levan Tsutskiridze, NIMD representative in the Eastern European Neighborhood.
Speakers: Natalia Iuras,Director of Center for Continuous Electoral Trainings and Research, CEC Moldova
Ostap Kuchma, Analyst and political finance expert at Chesno Movement, Ukraine
Khachik Harutyunyan, Transparency International; Anti-corruption Center of Armenia
Ketevan Chachava,Chairwoman, Center for Development and Democracy, Georgia
  • What are the measures that need to be enacted in order to curb illicit financing of political parties? How big is the problem? 
  • How to find a balance between enabling campaign finance and political party development on the one hand and curtailing the overbearing influence of money in politics and corporatization of public policies on the other?
  • Are legal measures (i.e. sanctions) enough to achieve this? What else is needed?
  • What are some of the experiences - challenges/best practices in Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia or elsewhere?
16:00-16:30  Coffee Break
16:30-18:00  Parallel working sessions
Session 3, Ballroom
Discussion on the challenges to women’s participation in politics, on the importance of money for competing in elections and on how to move forward
Moderator: Jacopo Leone, Democratic Governance Officer, OSCE/ODIHR
Nana Kalandadze, Gender Officer, International IDEA
Speakers: Diane Bunyan, Gender equality expert, Council of Europe
Lefterjie Luzi, Chairwoman, Central Electoral Commission of Albania
Vadim Pistrinciuc, Member of Parliament, Moldova
Helene Rusetskaya, Director of Women's Information Centre in Tbilisi
  • How can public funding support women candidates during political campaigns?
  • Rules of the Game: How to address the gender funding gap?
***
Session 4, Meeting room King George
Increase disclosure and use of political finance information as a way to prevent cleptocracy and abuse of state resources?
Moderator: Levan Natroshvili, Election Project Manager, Transparency International Georgia
Speakers: Ken-Marti Vaher, Member of Parliament, Estonia
Manuel Gonzalez Oropeza,, Justice at the Federal Electoral Tribunal of Mexico, Substitute Member of the Venice Commission
Viktor Chumak, Member of Parliament, Ukraine
Dusan Drakic,Head of Department for Oversight of Political Parties, Anti-Corruption Agency of Montenegro
  • How to detect electorally motivated spending of public money
  • How to balance the interests of political party donors in public procurement process
  • What are the opportunities for financial reporting by political parties and electoral candidates to be used to prevent cleptocracy and abuse of state resources, and what are the limits of such reporting in these fields?
  • What activities need to be conducted to prevent cleptocracy and abuse of state resources? Could reporting by state institutions and restrictions on their activities during pre-electoral periods be valuable in this regard?

19 February, 2016

09:30-11:00 Parallel working sessions
Session 5, Ballroom
How to design effective financial monitoring bodies for the enforcement of political finance law?
Moderator: Gaël Martin-Micallef, Administrator, Legal Adviser, Election Division of the Venice Commission
Speakers: Lina Petroniene, Head of the Division of Political Parties and Campaigns Funding Control,Central Election Commission of Lithuania
Prof. Luis de Sousa, Chairman of Transparency International Portugal
Lisa Klein,IFES Political Finance Consultant
  •  What makes for effective implementation of political finance legislation?
  • How should monitoring bodies enforce effective sanctions?
  • "What are our expectations of monitoring bodies and are they realistic"?
***
Session 6, Meeting room King George
Monitoring of campaign finance and the role of international and citizen observers, the importance of civil society
Moderator: Steve Martin,Senior Adviser on New Voting Technologies, OSCE/ODIHR
Speakers: Pavel Postica, Director of Monitoring Democratic Processes Program, Promo-LEX Moldova
Olga Aivazovska, Election Program Coordinator, OPORA
Lela Taliuri, Election Projects Coordinator, Georgian Young Lawyers Association
Olga Macujeva, Senior Officer of the Division of Control of Political Parties Financing, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, Latvia
  • How does campaign finance fit within larger issues of political finance (funding of parties, anti-corruption efforts etc.)?
  • What are the differences in approach of international observers in campaign finance? Which are the similarities?
  • How are civil society organizations undertaking campaign finance observation? How is observation results presented?
  • How can recommendations on campaign finance be implemented and monitored?
11:00-11:30  Coffee Break
11:30-13:00  Parallel working sessions
Session 7, Ballroom
An assessment of the GRECO evaluations on political financing and recommendations follow-up
Moderator: Christophe Speckbacher, Head of Section, Secretariat of the GRECO, Council of Europe
Speakers: Zurab Sanikidze,Head of Delegation of Georgia to GRECO, Secretary of Anti-Corruption Council of Georgia, Ministry of Justice of Georgia
Prof. Hubert Sickinger, Hubert Sickinger, Political scientist at the University of Vienna, Head of the Advisory board of Transparency International - Austrian Chapter
Tigran Babikyan, Head of Oversight-Audit Service, Central Election Commission of Armenia
Sergii Leshchenko, Member of Parliament of Ukraine
  • What are the factors of success (and failure) of reforms in the area of political financing?
  • Are certain changes more difficult to implement than others?
  • Are an adequate level of transparency and an effective supervision sufficient to limit risks of political corruption, and what would be the other/next challenge(s)?
***
Session 8, Meeting room King George
Discussion on the role of public funding in rooting out big donation
Moderator: Elin Falguera, Acting Senior Programme Manager, Political Parties team, International IDEA
Speakers:

Lolita Cigane, Chairperson, European Affairs Committee, Parliament of Latvia
Krzysztof Lorentz, Director, Department of Controlling of Political Party and Campaign
Finance, Polish National Election Commission
Katarina Dakic, Head of the Department for Oversight of Financing Political Parties, Anti-Corruption Agency of the Republic of Serbia
Tanya Tzaneva, Member of the Central Election Commission of Bulgaria

  • What do we know about the effectiveness of public funding to political parties in reducing the dependency on large private donations?
  • Where there has been reform of public funding, what key components made it a success/failure in terms of reducing the dependency on large private donations?
  • How have intended and adverse effects of public funding to political parties been monitored?
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 Conclusive discussion on The Future of Political Finance in the XXI Century
Moderator: Zurab Aznaurashvili, Head of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, SAOG
Speakers: Lolita Cigane, Chairperson, European Affairs Committee, Parliament of Latvia
Dr. Alexander Kynev, OSCE/ODIHR Core Group of Experts on Political Parties, Russia 
Dr. Marcin Walecki, Head of Democratization Department, OSCE/ODIHR 
Rovzat Gasimov, Head of Secretariat, Central Election Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan
15:30-16:00 Closing Remarks
  Lasha Tordia, Auditor General. State Audit Office of Georgia
François Friederich,Head of Division of Electoral Assistance, Council of Europe