INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY RELATED TO PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EU

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The National Council regularly participates in parliamentary meetings, which take place within the so-called parliamentary dimension of the presidency of the Council of the EU.

 

CONFERENCE OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE PARLIAMENTS OF THE EU MEMBER STATES AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

The conference is attended by the Speakers of the National Parliaments of the EU Member States and the President of the European Parliament. Speakers of the parliaments of the candidate countries are also invited to participate as observers.

The purpose of the conference is to exchange views, information and experiences on topics related to the role of parliaments and the organization of parliamentary functions. The conference also aims to promote research activities and joint actions on forms and instruments of interparliamentary cooperation.

The conference meets every spring in the country holding the presidency of the EU Council in the second semester of last year.

The conference is preceded by a preparatory meeting of the Secretaries-General of the participating national parliaments, where participants discuss the program of the Conference of Presidents of EU and European Parliament parliaments.

 

COSAC (Conférence des Organes Spécialisés dans les Affaires Communautaires et Européennes des Parlements de l'Union européenne)

COSAC is a co-operation between committees  of the national parliaments dealing with European affairs as well as representatives from the European Parliament. At the biannual meetings of COSAC, six members represent each parliament. In addition, the national parliaments from the candidate and acceding countries are invited to participate with three observers each.

COSAC meetings normally take place in the capital of the country holding the EU-presidency. The last meeting was held in Vienna on 22 and 23 May.

COSAC was created in May 1989 at a meeting in Madrid, where the speakers of the Parliaments of the EU Member states agreed to strengthen the role of the national parliaments in relation to the community process by bringing together the European affairs Committees. The first meeting of COSAC took place in Paris in November 1989.

COSAC was formally recognised in a protocol to the Amsterdam Treaty that was concluded by Heads of State or Government in June 1997. The protocol came into force 1 May 1999.
According to this protocol, COSAC is allowed to address to the EU institutions any "contributions" which it deems necessary.

The website of the COSAC

 

CONFERENCE ON THE COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY AND CONFERENCE ON THE COMMON SECURITY AND DEFENSE POLICY

In April 2012, the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments in Warsaw decided to set up an Interparliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defense Policy. The conference met for the first time in Cyprus in September 2012.

The conference was set up to strengthen the role of the national parliaments of the EU Member States and the EP. It provides a framework for the exchange of information and best practices in the field of the common foreign and security policy and the common security and defense policy.

The conference takes place once every six months in the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU or in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The delegation consists of a maximum of six members of the national parliaments of EU Member States, a maximum of sixteen representatives from the European Parliament, a maximum of four observers from the national parliaments of EU candidate countries and a maximum of four non-EU observers from European NATO member states. A key element of the conference is discussions with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the host country.

The National Council, together with the National Assembly, regularly attends conferences and actively participates in debates.

 

JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SCRUTINY GROUP (JPSG) ON EUROPOL

In accordance with Article 88 TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), as introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, Regulation (EU) 2016/794 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Union law enforcement agency on 11 May 2016, joint parliamentary scrutiny of the European Parliament and national parliaments regarding the Agency's activities was enabled.

The tasks and responsibilities of the JPSG are set out in Article 51 of the Europol Regulation. Pursuant to Article 51 (1) of the Europol Regulation and Article 9 of Protocol 1 to the TEU, the TFEU and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, the Conference of Presidents of the EU Parliaments adopted resolutions on 24 April 2017 establishing a Joint Parliamentary Group on joint parliamentary scrutiny of Europol.

The JPSG is empowered to: monitor politically the activities of Europol in the performance of its mission (including the impact of these activities on the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons); control of the budgetary aspects of Europol's activities, the structural organization of Europol and the potential establishment of new units and specialized centers; debate on general matters relating to Europol's activities (protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, in particular the protection of personal data). The group may, at its discretion, draw up a summary of the conclusions on the political monitoring of Europol's activities and submit those decisions to the European Parliament and national parliaments.

The JPSG is made up of representatives of the European Parliament and the national parliaments of the EU Member States. Each national parliament of the EU Member States may be represented by a maximum of four members; in the case of bicameral parliaments, each House shall be represented by a maximum of two members. The European Parliament shall be represented by a maximum of 16 members. The JPSG may also invite non-decision-making observers from EU Member States, international organizations and third countries.

Regular sessions are held twice a year, in the first half of the year in the parliament of the EU Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and in the second half of the year in the European Parliament in Brussels.

At its 10th regular session on 12 September 2018, the National Council appointed Bojana Potočan as a member of the JPSG and Samer Khalil as a substitute member of the JPSG.

 

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