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The Swiss National Council © The Swiss Parliament

Strong parliaments

We help strengthen parliaments to make them more effective and representative.
Swiss National Council

Strong parliaments are the cornerstone of democracy and essential for development. They represent the people, pass laws and hold governments to account. As an organization made up of nearly all the world’s national parliaments, the IPU helps parliaments become more representative, gender-balanced, younger, transparent, accessible, accountable and effective.

To do this, the IPU pools the collective expertise and experience of its Members to establish common standards and guidelines  on parliaments. We encourage parliaments to lead their own development through tools such as our Common Principles for Support to Parliaments.

We also help parliaments harness the power of new technology through the Centre for Innovation in Parliament, a partnership between the IPU and parliaments to develop and share good practices in digital innovation and tools such as social media.

The IPU’s democratic ideals have been enshrined in two important declarations. In 1994, IPU Members adopted the Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections  followed by the Universal Declaration on Democracy three years later. 

IPU Members also have a dedicated Committee on Democracy and Human Rights  that meets at every Assembly.
 

Setting standards
136
Number of national parliaments which have endorsed the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments
Explore strong parliaments
We pull together common values and principles of parliaments' work into sets of standards and guidelines that present a vision of democratic parliaments and describe good practices.
We work actively throughout the world to help develop strong, well-functioning parliaments that can rise to modern challenges.
The International Day of Democracy is celebrated around the world on 15 September each year. Its sister day, the International Day of Parliamentarism, is celebrated worldwide on 30 June.
Contact us for more information on how we can support your parliament
Latest news and stories on strong parliaments
News in brief
Danish youth

How to promote democracy – Austrian Parliament highlights global practice

On International Day of Democracy, the Austrian Parliament has announced the publication of a new report, Parliaments Promoting Democracy – Report on Programmes of National Parliaments Promoting Democracy and Human Rights. The report showcases examples of how some 50 countries
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Voices
Martin Chungong

Opinion – Lift the lockdowns on parliaments too

Martin Chungong, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) During the ongoing coronavirus emergency, extraordinary measures may have been necessary so that national leaders can make rapid and vital decisions that have had a restrictive effect on how we enjoy freedoms. But
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News in brief
Myanmar Parliament

IPU helps the Hluttaw hold its first webinar

The Parliament of Myanmar (Hluttaw) recently held its first virtual session to discuss a COVID-19 economic relief plan with technical support from the IPU and the UN Development Programme. Some 40 MPs registered for the session joining from all over
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Voices
Laura Rojas

Legislating in times of pandemic

Voices is part of an IPU web series in which we give space to parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. This piece is by
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News in brief
Women in markets

Video: Parliaments in a time of pandemic

Watch this 2-minute video to discover how parliaments and parliamentarians have responded to the pandemic. See also Parliaments in a time of pandemic.
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Strong parliaments
Latest publications on strong parliaments
The IPU 130th anniversary book describes the IPU’s milestones in promoting peace, democracy, human rights, gender equality and parliamentary diplomacy over the past 130 years. It also mentions more recent IPU goals to empower younger parliamentarians and to mobilize parliaments
This new guide accompanies the IPU flagship publication Common Principles for Support to Parliaments.
The World e-Parliament Report is designed to help parliaments harness the power of new technology to become better and stronger institutions.
Strong parliaments
Related events
Virtual event
An informal virtual interactive panel debate for International Day of Democracy, in partnership with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University, from 17:00-18:30 CET. Open to all IPU Members, MPs, UN partners, students and the general
Sep 15 2020
Seminar
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San José
Costa Rica

The seminar is for parliamentary staff who serve as Secretaries of IPU Groups within Member Parliaments.
Nov 27 2019
Strong parliaments