Research on the Dynamics of Processes of the enhancement of powers of the ECOWAS Parliament

Overview

The ECOWAS Parliament was established under articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993. The Protocol relating to the Parliament was signed in Abuja on the 6th August, 1994 and entered into force on 14th March, 2002.  In 2006, a Supplementary Protocol was adopted to modify the structure, composition, competence and other issues relating to the Parliament. A major shift was the expression of the desire to enhance the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament from advisory to co-decision making. The ECOWAS Parliament, following the coming into force of the Supplementary Protocol commissioned a study aimed at looking at the areas in which its powers can be enhanced. The study, “A Case for the Enhancement of Power of the ECOWAS Parliament”, resulted in the formulation of a draft Supplementary Act, which when adopted will go a long way in enhancing the legislative powers of the Parliament. The Act proposed wide sweeping amendments to existing statutes on the structure and competences of the Parliament including election of representatives to the Parliament, power to initiate/approve legislative Acts including community Budget, confirmation of statutory appointees, integration into the Community Mechanism on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Security among others. 

In 2015, based on renewed interest from the Heads of State and other key actors in getting a stronger ECOWAS Parliament and in view of the historical evolution of the parliament and the steps that have been taken up till then to enhance the powers of the parliament from advisory to co decision-making, a research was commissioned to examine the challenges of the proposed legal framework for the enhancement of the Powers of ECOWAS Parliament and provide a better understanding of political challenges within the institution.

Interventions 

A research was conducted to interrogate and answer the following questions:

  1. What are the main obstacles in the implementation of the recommendations of enhanced Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament?
  2. Are the proposals for the enhancement of ECOWAS Powers realistic?
  3. How can the fears of those sceptical of the enhanced powers of the ECOWAS Parliament be allayed?
  4. What strategies should be devised to address this issue more effectively?

Outcomes

A study report on the Dynamics of Processes of the enhancement of powers of the ECOWAS Parliament.

Partners

  • ECOWAS Parliament
  • National Institute of Legislative Studies
  • National Assembly of Nigeria
  • African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

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