After more than 20 years, the comprehensive renewal process of the country, initiated and led by the Communist Party of Vietnam, reaped major and historic achievements in terms of socio-economic development, defence-security, external relations, Party and State building, and national solidarity enhancement.
The achievements of the renewal process lifted the country out of a protracted socio-economic crisis and created the foundations for stepping up national industrialisation and modernisation. The political and social situation was stable, and Vietnam’s prestige and standing in the international arena promoted.
The National Assembly made important reforms, gradually completed its organisational structure and operation methods, increased the number of full-time deputies, and better performed its legislative functions and supreme supervisory role, and made decisions on important issues of the country.
However, apart from certain advantages, the country also encountered a number of difficulties and challenges, including weaknesses in the economy and infrastructure, a widening wealth gap, natural disasters, and epidemics in many places. Meanwhile, the world and the region saw complex developments, especially the financial and monetary crisis and the global economic recession, which adversely affected the country’s socio-economic development. Hostile forces continued boosting the “peace evolution” strategy and subversive riots under the pretext of “democracy”, “human rights”, and ethnic and religious affairs to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.
That fact required Vietnam build a peaceful and stable environment, a developed economy, strong defence – security, a sound strategy and righteous orientations. This was also a request and heavy responsibility for the National Assembly in its 12th tenure, shortened from five to four years to match the tenure of the Party and all-level People’s Councils.
Under the leadership of the Party, the 12th National Assembly continued all-round and strong reform of both organisational and operational methods while fully performing its functions and duties as regulated in the Constitution and laws, thus obtaining many important outcomes.
In four years, the National Assembly passed 67 laws and 13 resolutions, and its Standing Committee, 14 ordinances and nine resolutions containing legal regulations, most of them new or comprehensively revised.
The legislative process continued to be reformed towards improving the quality, proactiveness, democracy, and detail of the legal documents. With the passage of the law on the issuance of legal documents in 2008, some steps in the legislative process were changed to better ensure they were more scientific, democratic, and tight. The change of time for the National Assembly to vote on annual law and ordinance making programmes, to the first session instead of the last in a year, gave the agencies drafting and submitting bills more time to prepare draft laws. The revision and supplementation of law and ordinance making programmes were carried out in a more flexible manner. Accordingly, the National Assembly Standing Committee can consider changes to the programmes and report them to the parliament at the next session. Besides, the assignment of the Standing Committee as the one coordinating the completion of draft laws to submit to the National Assembly helped, to some extent, increase the proactiveness of parliamentary agencies, thus contributing to the improvement of quality and the acceleration of law making.
Supervisory activities were particularly enhanced to propose amendments and supplements to policies so as to promote their effectiveness, minimise negative impacts, address mistakes and shortcomings in a timely manner, and boost the performance of duties. Supervision focused on a number of pressing issues in almost all areas, from economy, society, State budget, culture, education, and science - technology to defence - security, diplomacy, and activities of judicial agencies.
Question-and-answer (Q&A) activities, a direct and important form of supervision of the National Assembly, continued to undergo strong and substantive improvements. They were carried out according to groups of issues, with the participation of many ministers and heads of sectors, as well as the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers, thus minimising paper replies and increasing open and straightforward dialogue between legislators and question recipients.
One of the new points in supervisory activities was that the parliament looked into its Standing Committee’s reports on the outcomes of supervising the settlement of voters’ opinions. This activity helped consolidate people’s trust in the Party and State, and encouraged the public to more actively engage in State management activities.
During the tenure, the National Assembly made decisions on investment in the Lai Chau hydropower and Ninh Thuan nuclear power projects, considered resolutions on shortening the 12th tenure, extended the 2004-2009 tenure of all-level People’s Councils, adjusted the administrative boundaries of Hanoi and related provinces, changed the administrative boundaries between some provinces, and piloted the removal of district- and ward-level People’s Councils. To meet new requirements of reality to enhance the authority and sense of responsibility of the National Assembly, as well as State management agencies, in making decisions about the investment, management, and use of large-scale facilities and projects in Vietnam and overseas, the National Assembly decided to amend and supplement Resolution No 66/2006/QH11, dated June 29, 2006, on nationally important projects submitted to the parliament for decision.
External activities of the National Assembly continued to be promoted, consolidated and expanded. The legislature increased bilateral diplomacy so as to create positive changes in the relations of friendship and multifaceted cooperation with countries in the region and the world. It strengthened ties with neighbouring, ASEAN and Northeast Asian countries; stepped up relations with the US, the European Parliament, and the parliaments of many EU member countries; developed ties with the parliaments of many African and Central and South American nations; and intensified the traditional relations with Central and Eastern European countries, thereby creating a favourable international environment for national construction and defence.
The National Assembly’s chairmanship and successful organisation of the 31st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-31), election as Vice Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for 2010-2011, and role as the Chair of the ASEAN+3 group marked a strong growth of Vietnam’s parliamentary diplomacy, thus practically contributing to the country’s integration into the world and the region.