The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that works directly with over 20 partner parliaments around the world to support the development of effective, independent, and responsive legislatures. HDP is proudly implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
In this month’s alumni profile, the Honorable Anna Buchukuri, member of the Georgian Parliament, shares her experience participating in HDP programming.
What parliament and chamber are you a member of?
I am a member of Georgian Parliament, where I am a Deputy Chair of Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee. Also, I’m a member of the Parliamentary Gender Equality Council, as well as the Child Protection Council.
What HDP program did you participate in?
I participated in the Regional Seminar on The Changed Security Environment in Europe and the Role of Parliaments on Security Oversight and Crisis Communications and the Summit for Democracy Legislative Track in Washington, DC.
What is your favorite thing about your country?
I appreciate the long and complicated history of my country. I love how unique our mother language is. I am so proud to be Georgian!
Why did you decide to become a member of parliament?
In the Georgian political establishment, although there have been some essential changes in the last 30 years, there have been no essential changes of political faces for many, many years. I believe it is vital for Georgia’s political environment to open the doors for younger generation of politicians. I have been working in the public sector since I graduated from the University, so I believe that all the working experience makes me better understand what challenges state institutions face and what is needed to enhance the democratic development of Georgia, especially now – when the country is waiting to be granted EU candidacy.
Looking back on the HDP program, what was most impactful for you?
It was impactful to see similar challenges Georgia has to Ukraine and Moldova. Therefore, having close relations with these countries is important. It was also important to share the experience Georgia has when it comes to threats coming from the Russian Federation, while 20% of Georgia is occupied by Russia, including the Russian soft power that is trying to harm Georgia’s historic choice – Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic and European aspirations.
How are you applying your experience from the HDP mission to your role as a member of parliament?
Trying to explain to the public what security challenges really are and how these threats are not only physical but also coming from soft power as well is an important role for MPs in these crucial times. Thus, using each and every platform to connect with ordinary citizens is one of the central goals.
What advice would you give to new members of parliament?
Making an ordinary citizen your main ally should be the number one aim for an MP.
What accomplishments in parliament are you most proud of?
I’m proud that I left the ruling party when I believed staying would be a compromise with myself. It is important to follow what you believe in politics, otherwise you cannot earn public trust, which is the most valuable asset for a member of Parliament. I’m proud that regardless the highest level of political polarization in Georgia, I, together with my team, always try to focus on the content, on the future, and on the issues that are actually important for the citizens and for the state interests.Top