The Conference of Speakers of the Parliaments of the EU
The Conference of Speakers meets annually at the invitation of one of its members and the presidency of the Conference is held by the Speaker of the host parliament, who is responsible for organising the meeting. The Conference comprises the Speakers/Presidents of the National Parliaments of Member States of the Union and of the European Parliament. They all participate on an equal basis. The participants have different mandates according to the constitutions of their own countries or - for the President of the European Parliament - the consolidated treaties.
These variations are to be respected. Meetings of the Conference operate by consensus. The Conference respects the autonomy and constitutional positions of individual parliaments and their speakers. Speakers of parliaments of candidate countries are invited to participate as observers.
The Conference in Rome in September 2000, adopted a set of guidelines (rules) for the Conference procedures, based on the criteria established by the previous Conference in Lisbon. These guidelines define the tasks and objectives of the Conference, as well as the main aspects of its working procedures, without laying down inflexible and detailed rules.
As a preparation for the Conference, the Secretaries General of the parliaments of the Member States usually meet separately from the Speakers some months before the Conference.