How was the 2015 budget adopted? A look towards the debate in the Macedonian Parliament

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The Budget of the Republic of Macedonia is the most important act deliberated by the Parliament annually. It lays down the priorities for social development, strengthening of the institutions, education, healthcare, etc. This exact function of the Budget with which priorities are set, i.e. some areas or institutions are earmarked more funds than others, makes it a tremendously political act. Thus, in the system of separation of powers, the role of the Parliament is to review the draft-Budget submitted by the Government and to align it with the public interest by amending it. Consequently, it is important to see how the members of Parliament are debating the Budget and to what extent they are using the opportunities envisaged by the Rules of Procedures in an effort to play the part. This analysis makes the adoption of the 2015 Budget, which was debated in the Parliament in September and October 2014, its case study. The analysis relies on a research conducted by the Skopje-based Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis”, which monitored the parliament debate as part of the Parliament Watch project. The analysis covers four segments. It starts off by presenting the structure of speeches related to the debate over the Budget, and continues by analyzing the degree of elaboration and preparedness in order one’s opinion to be changed as a result of a better argument. The analysis is concluded with an overview of the use of time allowed at a debate according to the Rules of Procedures.

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