DiploFoundation students from the Commonwealth 3rd Country Programme and students from the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies took part in a one-day seminar on “Parliamentary Diplomacy” at the House of Representatives on Tuesday 8th March.
The workshop was organized jointly by the House of Representatives, DiploFoundation and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies. Participants were privileged to have access to the extensive experiences of parliamentarians who shared their ‘on the ground’ knowledge of the subject and interacted with participants over questions.
The opening speech of the seminar was delivered by Hon. Speaker Michael Frendo followed by introductions by Professor Stephen Calleya (MEDAC) and Dr. Jovan Kurbalija (Diplo). Aspects of Multilateral Parliamentary Diplomacy were discussed by Hon. Francis Agius and Hon. George Vella who focused on the Council of Europe and the Mediterranean respectively. Hon. Francis Zammit Dimech and Hon. Leo Brincat directed their presentations on Bilateral Parliamentary Diplomacy. The afternoon session on the theme of “Parliamentarians and Conflict Prevention” kicked off with a video conference from Strasbourg where participants heard Euro Parliamentarian Hon. Simon Busuttil speak of his mission as part of a European Parliament group to Tunisia few weeks ago. Hon. Anglu Farrugia also shared his experiences of electoral monitoring in many countries. The session was also addressed by Hon. Censu Galea whilst an academic perspective on the theme was provided by Dr. Monika Wohlfeld, German chair at MEDAC.