Visit of the Delegation of the Parliamentary Friendship group with Great Britain of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia to Westminster
A delegation of Parliamentarians from the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia visited the UK Parliament from 12th to 14th March 2013. The Slovenian Members of Parliament Ms Tamara Vonta and Mr Roman Jakič were joined by the Secretary of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Ms Milojka Nemanič. The visit was organised by Neil Parish MP, Chairman of the British-Slovenia All-Party Parliamentary Group, who are affiliated with the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
The group first enjoyed a working Dinner in the Strangers’ Dining Room in the Houses of Parliament with Neil Parish MP, Chairman of the British-Slovenia All Party Parliamentary Group, His Excellency Mr Iztok Jarc, the Slovenian Ambassador as wells as officials from the Slovenian Embassy. Wednesday morning the delegation were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament and introduced to its history, heritage and its many customs that have survived over the centuries before watching Prime Minister’s Question Time from the Publc Gallery. After PMQs the delegation was taken for a group photograph outside of No. 10 Downing Street.
There was then a working Lunch with officers and members of the British-Slovenia All Party including Neil Parish MP, Sheryll Murray MP, Mark Pritchard MP, Nigel Evans MP and David Rutley MP, to share their experience of working in parliament. The MPs were joined by HE Iztok Jarc.
After lunch the delegation met with Members of the House of Lords who are members of the British-Slovenia All Party Parliamentary Group in the Lord Speaker’s Apartments, which was chaired by Lord Dubs, Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Group. The delegation was briefed on the history of the House of Lords, the role it plays in the legislative process and future plans for reform.
Neil Parish MP then chaired a meeting with MPs who are members of the British-Slovenia All Party Parliamentary Group to discuss their experiences and explain UK Parliamentarian working practices, the role the media plays in UK politics, standards and ethics, the relationship between politicians and lobbyists and Parliamentary procedure. The UK Parliamentarians discussing these issues included Sheryll Murray MP, Mike Gapes MP, Paul Farrelly MP, Christopher Pincher MP, Paul Flynn MP and Christopher Chope MP.
The delegation were then given a tour of the Speakers’ Apartments and had a coffee meeting with the Deputy Speaker, Nigel Evans MP, in his private rooms, to discuss the procedural role of Speaker and the Chairmen of Ways and Means.
The delegation and Members of the APPG then attended a Reception held at the Residence of His Excellency Iztok Jarc, the Slovenian Ambassador.
The following Thursday morning the delegation met with Baron Wallace of Saltaire, Government Whip in the House of Lords with responsibility for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Following the meeting the group were given a tour of Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The visit was a great success, furthering strenghtening the relationship between two European democracies with very difficult political histories. The British-Slovenia All-Party Parliamentary Group would like to thank the Office of Neil Parish MP, the Ambassador and staff at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, the Secretary of the Slovenian Parliamentary Friendship Group with Great Britain, the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans MP and staff for giving very freely of their time.