Conferences and meetings

Conference of Speakers of European Union Parliaments – Control body of the interparliamentary cooperation in the European Union that meets each year in spring in the country that held Presidency of the Council during the second semester of the previous year. The Conference gathers speakers of parliaments of EU Member States and the President of the European Parliament. Speakers of parliaments of candidate countries are also invited to participate, as observers. The Conference is preceded by a preparatory meeting of the secretaries general of the parliaments of EU Member States. 
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Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) – In accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, COSAC is the only institutionalized framework for interparliamentary cooperation at working body level. COSAC allows the possibility for regular exchange of opinions between committees. Under the Lisbon Treaty, COSAC may submit any contribution it deems appropriate for the attention of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and promote the exchange of information and best practices between national parliaments and the European Parliament. The decision on establishing COSAC was adopted on 16 November 1989 in Paris at the Conference of Speakers of the Parliaments of the EU Member States. COSAC’s main objective is to strengthen the role of the committees for EU affairs of national Parliaments through regular meetings of their members with the Members of the European Parliament.

In line with the COSAC Rules of Procedure, COSAC meetings take place twice during each six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union in the Member State holding the Presidency – once in the format of the meeting of the chairpersons of the committees for Union affairs, where the committee of each EU Member State is represented by one or two members, generally at chairman or vice chairman level, and once in the plenary meeting, where the committees of all Member States are represented by a maximum of 6 members. The meetings of chairpersons last for two days and their main purpose is the preparation of the plenary meeting, while the plenary meetings, lasting three days, gather delegations to discuss the topics agreed upon at the meetings of chairpersons of the COSAC committees. The European Parliament also participates in the work of COSAC. The committees for European Affairs/Integration of candidate countries are invited to participate as observers. 

The European Affairs Committee of the Croatian Parliament is a full member of COSAC, which implies, inter alia, that it is entitled to take part in passing decisions and that simultaneous interpretation into Croatian is provided during the COSAC plenary meetings.

Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union  – This Conference was established under Article 13 of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (so-called Fiscal Compact), which provides that the European Parliament and national parliaments will together determine the organisation and promotion of a conference of representatives of the relevant committees of national parliaments in order to discuss budgetary policies and other issues covered by the Treaty. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure in the first semester of each year, it shall be held in Brussels and will be co-hosted and co-presided over by the Presidency Parliament and the European Parliament. In the second semester of each year, it shall be held in the Member State holding the EU Presidency and presided over by the Presidency Parliament. The Conference is convened before the presentation of the Annual Growth Survey and adoption of the national reform programmes. The Interparliamentary Conference on SECG is composed of delegations from the relevant committees of the national parliaments of EU Member States and the European Parliament. 

Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy – The Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), in line with the Rules of Procedure, brings together delegations of the European Parliament (16 members) and national parliaments (6 members from each parliament). Candidate countries and European member countries of NATO can be represented by a delegation represented of four observers each. The Conference is presided over by the Presidency Parliament, in close cooperation with the European Parliament and is held every six months in the country holding Presidency of the Council or in the European Parliament. 

Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) for Europol – The JPSG politically monitors the activities of Europol (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) in fulfilling its mission of preventing and combatting organized crime, terrorism and other forms of serious criminal offences. The JPSG was established pursuant to the Conclusions of the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments of 24 April 2017, in line with Article 51 of the Europol Regulation (EU) 2016/794 and Article 9 of the Protocol No 1 to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 

The first constituent meeting of the JPSG was held on October 9-10, 2017 in the European Parliament in Brussels. The JPSG Rules of Procedure were adopted at its second meeting held on March 18-19, 2018 in Sofia. Pursuant to the Rules of Procedure, each national Parliament and the European Parliament shall be represented in the JPSG by a maximum of four and 16 members, respectively. The JPSG shall be presided jointly by the parliament of the member state holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, the latter represented by the chair of the competent committee. The head of the EP delegation and the heads of delegations of the parliaments of the three successive presidencies of the Council shall constitute the JPSG Presidency Trio. The JPSG shall meet twice a year: in the first half of the year, in the parliament of the member state holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and in the European Parliament in Brussels in the second half of the year. In principle, the JSPG shall adopt its decisions by consensus.

Interparliamentary Committee Meetings – Thematic meetings initiated by one or more committees of the European Parliament with the support of the Directorate for Relations with National Parliaments. Occasionally, national parliaments are invited to participate in the discussion on a specific item from the agenda of the regular meetings of the EP committees. 

Parliamentary Dimension of the Council Presidency – Cooperation of national parliaments of the EU Member States and the European Parliament within the scope of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union achieved through meetings of individual committees of the national parliaments and the European Parliament. 

The Presidency parliament organizes: i) the Conference of Speakers of European Union Parliaments (once a year in the national parliament of the member state which held the Presidency of the Council during the second semester of the previous year); ii) COSAC; iii) the Interparliamentary Conference for CFSP and CSDP); iv) the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (in the first semester in the European Parliament in Brussel and in the second semester in the member state holding the Presidency of the Council); v) meeting of the JPSG (in the first semester in the member state holding the Presidency of the Council and in the second semester in the European Parliament in Brussel) and v) meetings of chairpersons of other competent committees, depending on the Presidency priorities and topics of interest of the national parliament of the member state holding Presidency. 

Usually, one to four committee meetings are organized, most frequently meetings of the committee on economy, committee on agriculture, committee on employment and social affairs, committee on environment or committee on computerisation.

Parliamentary dimension of the Croatian Presidency of the Council from 1 January to 30 June 2020 – During the Croatian Presidency of the Council from 1 January to 30 June 2020, the Croatian Parliament will organize and chair meetings within the framework of the parliamentary dimension of the Presidency. 

From 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020, Croatia will be part of the EU Trio Presidency together with Romania and Finland. The EU Presidency Trio sets long-term objectives, agrees on a joint programme and decides on the topics and main issues to be addressed in the period of 18 months. Based on this programme, each of the three countries develops their respective six-months presidency programmes in more detail. The programme of the Trio composed of Romania, Finland and Croatia is expected to be adopted in December 2018. 

On 23 April 2018, in Tallinn, at the side-lines of the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments, Gordan Jandroković, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Liviu Dragnea and Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, Presidents of the Romanian House of Representatives and the Senate, and Paula Risikko, Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, signed a Declaration on Cooperation in the framework of the parliamentary dimension of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

They thereby declared their willingness to fully cooperate and provide mutual support in order to successfully prepare and implement the parliamentary dimension of their respective presidencies of the Council of the European Union. Furthermore, they undertake to ensure communication, coordination and information exchange, at both political and administrative level, with respect to events related to the parliamentary dimension of their Presidency of the Council of the European Union, including effective cooperation with the European Parliament.