Legislative Exchanges

Legislative Exchanges


On June 18, 2013 NCSL hosted a delegation of leaders from Hong Kong at NCSL’s Washington, D.C., office for a meeting with Kathy Brennan Wiggins and Susan Parnas Frederick of NCSL on the role of the political structure and system in U.S. politics. The delegation was specifically interested in how to achieve efficiency in an expansive political system consisting of different levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and an active constituency.


From May 2-4, 2013 NCSL welcomed a 31-member delegation from the Partnership of Parliaments, to include members from Germany and Austria to the 2013 Spring Forum in Denver. During its stay, the delegation attended forum sessions, as well as meetings with key Colorado state legislators, including Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman and House Minority Leader Mark Waller.


On June 26, 2013 a delegation of provincial and parliamentary whips from the South African National Council of Provinces visited NCSL’s Washington, D.C., office to discuss the functions of Congress and the role of the whip. The South African whips were hosted by NCSL’s Kathy Brennan Wiggins and Sheri Steisel, and three Maryland legislators: Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell, Senator Lisa Gladden and, Delegate Talmadge Branch.


From April 8-9, 2013 the International Programs department of NCSL welcomed a small delegation from the Scottish Parliament including Rt. Honorable Tricia Marwick, presiding officer (speaker) of the Scottish Parliament to Washington, D.C. During their stay in the city they had several meetings with the delegations’ counterparts in the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Department of State and at the Library of Congress.


NCSL has conducted a number of legislative exchanges around the globe. With a growing trend towards devolution worldwide, issues surrounding federalism and decentralization have become increasingly important topics for legislators and legislative staff around the world to discuss with one another. Topics like transparency in government, accountability, ethics, and citizen involvement have become the cornerstones in efforts to fortify links between the legislative institution and the electorate. Likewise, rapid changes in the international arena have affected state legislators and their constituencies in many ways. In this ever-changing environment, exchanging information with foreign parliamentarians and staff on institutional and public policy matters of common concern offers varied perspectives on public policy development. With funding from a variety of sources, NCSL has conducted legislative exchanges with Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

One of the many strengths of NCSL’s international work has been the ability to develop and maintain long-standing organizational partnerships with foreign legislators and staff. Most notably, NCSL has worked to promote and sustain relationships with the Partnership of Parliaments in Germany, the União Nacional dos Legisladores e Legislativos Estaduais in Brazil, the Regional Councils in Italy, the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, and interact with other organizations, including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Organization and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.


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