Helsinki - Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Domagoj Ivan Milošević, Deputy Chair Domagoj Hajduković and Committee members Ines Strenja and Ivan Ćelić participated at the meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) held on 1 - 3 December 2019 in Helsinki. It was the last interparliamentary event in the framework of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Domagoj Ivan Milošević announced Croatia’s upcoming Council Presidency and its parliamentary dimension and informed about the dates for the two COSAC meetings to be held in Zagreb. The Meeting of the Chairpersons of COSAC is scheduled for 19 – 20 January 2020, and the LXIII COSAC meeting will be held on 24 – 26 May 2020.
In the opening part of the LXII COSAC, chaired by the Grand Committee of the Eduskunta, Members of national parliaments and the European Parliament discussed the inclusion of national parliaments in the Conference on the Future of Europe, the coordination of which will be the responsibility of European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica.
European Affairs Committee’s Deputy Chair Hajduković said that the role of national Parliaments in the Conference is crucial, given their role as linkage between the public and the European policies. He also highlighted that the discussions on the future of Europe should focus especially on reducing regional inequalities within the EU and on EU enlargement policy.
Milošević stressed that the continuation of the enlargement policy was a matter of EU’s credibility and expressed hope that the pre-accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania would start soon. He also said that neither the adoption of a new Multiannual Financial Framework should be the cause for division within the EU. Milošević stressed the positive effects the cohesion policy has on all Member States, independent of the amount of their national contribution to the European budget.
European Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations Maroš Šefčovič introduced the roadmap of the new Commission under Ursula von der Leyen and referred in particular to the role of national parliaments.
The LXII Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) closed with a debate on the Climate Strategy for Europe and with the intervention by Michel Barnier, Head of the Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom.
The Croatian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee will take over the COSAC on 1 January 2020. The next COSAC meeting will take place on 19 – 20 January 2020 in Zagreb in the format of committees’ chairpersons.