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LEXICON Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments (EUSC)

EUSC website

  1. The Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments provides a forum for discussion on the role and responsibilities of national parliaments in the European architecture, forms and instruments of interparliamentary cooperation in EU affairs, as well as challenges facing the European Union. The EUSC also oversees the coordination of interparliamentary activities within the EU. The participants of the conference are the Speakers of parliaments of the EU Member States and the President of the European Parliament.
  2. The first meeting of the Speakers of national parliaments and the European Parliament was held in Rome in 1963. The next such meeting was organised 10 years later in Strasbourg to mark the enlargement of the Community. Since mid-1970s, the meetings have been held regularly, until 1981 with the participation of speakers of the member states of the Council of Europe. Poland, as well as the other candidate countries at the time, was invited to participate in EUSC in 2001.
  3. Currently, in line with the basic rules adopted in Rome in September 2000, as amended in Stockholm in May 2010, the Conference meets on an annual basis, in the first half of the calendar year. It is organised by the parliament of the member state holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of the previous year (Poland assumed the Presidency of the EUSC in spring 2011, and hosted the Conference in April 2012). EUSC agendas and debates are prepared at meetings of Secretaries-General.
  4. According to the basic rules, meetings of the Conference operate by consensus, respecting the autonomy and constitutional position of each participating Speaker. Meetings end with the adoption of conclusions, which should reflect the common view of the EUSC, but are not binding on individual parliaments.
    The Conference can establish working groups aimed at addressing matters concerning the role of parliaments and the organisation of interparliamentary cooperation.
    Deliberations are translated simultaneously into official EU languages. Written papers are circulated in French and English.
  5. Conclusions are sent to the members of the Conference. The Presidency also sends its conclusions to the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, the President-in-Office of the General Affairs Council, and the COSAC Troika. The Presidency Conclusions are published in the EU Speakers section of the IPEX website, and in Polish also on the OIDE website.
  6. In exercising the oversight of the coordination of interparliamentary activities, the EUSC:
    • in 2004, in The Hague, adopted the “Guidelines for Inter-parliamentary Cooperation in the European Union”, known as “The Hague Guidelines” (amended in Lisbon in 2008), which define the objectives, frameworks, areas and tools of the cooperation;
    • in 2000, made a recommendation to create IPEX – the Interparliamentary EU Information Exchange*; IPEX, launched officially in 2006, is a platform for electronic exchange of EU-related information on national parliaments’ activities; after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the exchange of information on subsidiarity checks by each chamber and opinions transmitted within political dialogue have become a key component of the platform;
    • implementing provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon concerning tasks of national parliaments in the EU, Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments adopted guidelines to the Rules of Procedure of the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy (Warsaw 2012) and to the Rules of Procedure of the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the EU (Rome 2014);
    • implementing provisions of the Article 51 (1) of the Regulation no 2016/794, Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments set up Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol (Bratislava 2017).

 

Updated: 17.05.2018

*See: Lexicon