Policy departments and other sources of expertise available to committees

Policy Departments

Policy departments consist of five units responsible for providing - both in-house and external - high-level independent expertise, analysis and policy advice at the request of committees and other parliamentary bodies (delegations, President, Bureau, Secretary-General). Their expertise covers all areas of activity of the European Parliament. They are closely involved in the work of committees which they support in shaping legislation on and exercising democratic scrutiny over EU policies.
By nurturing contacts with the academic community and think tanks, law firms and specialist consultancies, via informal networking between internal and external experts, policy department staff regularly update their technical and legal knowledge.

Outputs:
Most frequently prepared at the request of a European Parliament committee or delegation, the written output of the policy departments comprises a wide range of products, including studies, in-depth country- or issue-specific analyses, briefings examining issues of strategic importance, as well as notes containing short EU-oriented analyses of recent events or developments.
The policy departments also draft the Fact Sheets on the EU, which provide an overview of European integration and of the European Parliament’s contribution to that process.
Other documents written by the policy departments include background notes and speaking points for use by the European Parliament's political authorities.
On the basis of decisions taken by the parliamentary committee coordinators, the policy departments also commission and oversee studies produced by external researchers and experts.

Events:
The policy departments organise events that enhance Parliament’s analytical capacity and develop common approaches to current political issues.
Through public workshops organised by the policy departments, groups of experts present independent expertise via written and oral presentations.
Expert panels are set up to provide members with regular written contributions and to feed into the parliamentary debate during meetings.
Studies produced by the policy departments are in general presented during committee meetings.

Scrutiny:
Policy departments provide research support to enhance the European Parliament’s capacity to monitor EU negotiations and the implementation of international agreements, e.g. trade agreements. They have also developed an in-house methodology to scrutinise EU-funded projects.

Economic Governance Support Unit

The Economic Governance Support Unit provides information to members on the implementation of the economic governance instruments and banking supervision in the Union, in particular in the Euro Area.

Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value

The Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) provides research on various aspects of ex-ante or ex-post evaluation of EU legislation and policies.

The Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) carries out interdisciplinary research and provides strategic advice in the field of science and technology options assessment and scientific foresight. It undertakes in-depth studies and organises workshops on developments in these fields, under the guidance of the STOA Panel of 24 MEPs.

Other sources

Workshops

Workshops enable Members to put questions to and exchange views with experts on subjects associated with parliamentary business or subjects of current interest.

Fact Sheets on the EU

The Fact Sheets provide an overview of European integration and of the European Parliament’s contribution to that process.

STOA

The Assessment of Scientific and Technological Policy Options for the European Parliament.

Think Tank

The Think Tank page provides access to all the expertise sources available in the Parliament.

Contacts

Policy departments

  • Economic and Scientific Policy
  • Committees: ECON-EMPL-ENVI-ITRE-IMCO
  • Structural and Cohesion Policy
  • Committees: TRAN-REGI-AGRI-PECH-CULT
  • Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs
  • Committees: JURI-LIBE-AFCO-FEMM-PETI
  • Budgetary Affairs
  • Committees: BUDG-CONT
  • External relations
  • Committees: AFET-DROI-SEDE-DEVE-INTA

Economic Governance Support Unit

European Parliamentary Research Service