The Institute for Democracy within the project “Parliament Watch” conducted face to face public opinion survey about the perceptions of the citizens for the work of MPs in the Parliament (Assembly) of the Republic of Macedonia. The survey was conducted from 1 July until 20 July 2016.

The main findings are:

– The perception of citizens is that the executive branch has more control over the Assembly than the Assembly controls the Government, according to its constitutional jurisdiction.
– 57% responded that the control of the Government over the Parliament is big or appropriate.
– 55% consider that the Parliament has little or no control over the executive.
– More than half of questioned citizens (55%) believe that the laws in Macedonia are changed frequently or very frequently. Employees in the private sector respond (59%) that laws are changed too frequently.
– The repondents rated the functions of the Parliament. According to majority of respondeds the most important functions are “monitoring of the Budget spending”, “producing laws with as much as possible better quality” and “taking care how laws are implemented by the executive”. The least important function is “passing of as many laws and amendments as possible”.
– Over two-thirds of the respondents believe that MPs always represent the interests of their political parties and their personal interests. Half of the respondents believe that MPs always represent business interests. 53% of respondents believe that lawmakers only sometimes represent the interests of citizens.
– Over 56% of respondents consider that the Parliament is completely or partially closed for public participation in its work.
– About 46% responded that MPs are closed for comments from the public and civil society organizations in the process of drafting laws. 42% believe that the MPs take account of these remarks to some extent.
– For more than a third (38%) of respondents the names of the elected MPs from their district / municipality / region were not familiar.
– 47% responded that the MP from their region is not available for meetings with citizens, and only 29% of that available.
– 62% have and impression that the majority in the Parliament does not take into consideration the arguments of the opposition in decision-making.
– Respondents believe that the Parliamentary Questions are used to advertise the Government (60%) and to criticize the Government and other institutions (52%). 50% believe that Parliamentary Questions are useful for accountability of the institutions, and 44% that are useful to inform citizens about the work of the Government. The questioned citizens are divided on the notion that this tool has an impact on the provision of institutional responsibility. Equal share of them agree (45%) and disagree (45%).
– Most often the respondents described the relationship between MPs as hostile (42%), then as competitive (27%).
– A majority of respondents (56%) think that the Parliament has impact on the quality of legislation.
– 61% have the impression that the MPs at the Parliamentary sessions use speech that offend and degrade their political opponents.
– The perception of 72% is that MPs are entirely dependent on the will of their political party leaders.
– 51% believe that a sufficient majority of MPs have the minimum necessary knowledge to be able to take decisions on behalf of citizens.
– 78% of respondets do not know how citizens can be involved in initiating or drafting laws.
– 64% want civic associations to be more involved in the work of the Assembly.
– More than half of respondents (54%) believe that the political crisis had to be resolved in the Parliament instead through negotiations between the leaders of the political parties.
– The Internet is the main source of information for the Parliament to citizens on age between 18 and 34 years. Television is the main source of information about the Parliament for the population from 35 to 75 years.
– 60% of respondets believe that life in Macedonia is generally moving in wrong direction. Most negative perception have respondents from the northeast region and citizens aged 25-34 years. Least negative perception have citizens on age from 65-74 years and the only age group with positive peception are the citizens on age over 75.

The complete public opinion survey is available at the following link:

Parliament Watch- Field Survey-Citizens perceptions of the work of the Parliament – 2016-ENG