The Cooperation and Exchange Programme has been developed as a tool to improve and make more efficient, direct contact between the EP and the National Parliaments.
The Programme is flexible with essentially two, sometimes overlapping, elements.
The first element comprises information seminars, primarily for the staff of the National Parliaments dealing with 1) the role of the EP in the decision-making process in the EU and 2) the management and organisation of the EU scrutiny process by the National Parliament hosting the seminar.
The second element, organised for MEPs, are visits to National Parliaments; these visits can cover a wide variety of subjects e.g. the rapporteurs from the EP on the Draft Constitutional Treaty visiting the National Parliaments to engage in a dialogue with their opposite numbers or MEPs representing the Lisbon Coordination Group, engaging with national colleagues in a follow up to the Parliamentary Meeting on the Lisbon Strategy. Meetings with EP rapporteurs on a specific subject can also be set up at the suggestion of individual, sectoral committees in the National Parliaments.