The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that works directly with 22 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 July 2021, IRI conducted an in-person HDP technical assistance consultancy in Pristina, Kosovo to engage the Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Rural Development, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure. This program came as a result of a direct request to CEPPS/IRI from the Committee’s Chairwoman, Hon. Fitore Pacolli, to support and strengthen the Committee’s operations and procedures. The U.S. delegation included three former members of Congress: former HDP chairman and current NED Vice-Chair Peter Roskam (R-IL), Nick Rahall (D-WV), and Mike Conaway (R-TX).  The week’s events included meetings with legislators from the committee, Assembly leadership, professional staff, party leaders, and caucus heads to contextualize Kosovo’s political environment, as well as to better understand the challenges and strengths members and staff see within their legislative institution.

In this monthly series, we profile HDP alumni to show how they are applying the lessons they’ve learned to their legislative work. This month we feature Shpresa Veliqi, media officer at the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, who participated in the aforementioned program.

What parliament and chamber are you a staff member of?

I am staff member of Committee on Education, Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Infrastructure and Environment; and Committee on Public Administration and Media.

What HDP program did you participate in?

I participated in an HDP Technical Assistance Consultancy Program, for members of the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Rural Development, Environment and Infrastructure.

What is your favorite thing about your country?

Private sector, entrepreneurship, and tourism.

Why did you decide to become a staff member in parliament?

To offer my contribution no matter how small in parliament, as this is the place where all legislation is adopted and affects directly citizens wellbeing.

Looking back on the HDP program, what was most impactful for you?

Sharing experiences and good practices, advice related to drafting legislation, advancing legislation, identifying good advisors, etc.

How are you applying your experience from the HDP mission to your role as staff?

Providing advice, information, holding public hearings on certain issues, and amending bylaws.

What advice would you give to new parliamentary staff?

Amending the Law on Higher Education, monitoring the education inspectorate, holding public hearings with farmers, and visits of private entrepreneurs.

What accomplishments in parliament are you most proud of?

Introduction of the article of the Law on Gender Equality for the exercise of the right to Property, and awareness campaigns for farmers in milk collection.

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