The Lisbon Treaty has opened the doors to a greater role for national Parliaments in European Union affairs, while also placing the European Parliament at the centre of the European Union’s legislative process. Therefore, a new era of inter-parliamentary cooperation began on 1 December 2009.
Often referred to as “The Treaty of Parliaments”, already an indication of its potential to develop the parliamentary dimension of the European Union, the Treaty of Lisbon is the first EU Treaty with a specific article on the role of national Parliaments. In fact, it contains 14 references to national Parliaments (in 12 Articles and 2 Protocols).
The European Parliament and national Parliaments have, during recent months, worked hard to enhance the parliamentary dimension of the European Union and thus reinforce its democratic basis. In particular, the European Parliament:
Set up a Steering Group to reflect on internal measures for the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.
Decided to foster the new IPEX website and thus further facilitate the information exchange network.
Modified its rules of procedure to take account of the Treaty of Lisbon's new provisions on the role of national Parliaments.
Is actively involved in bringing existing organs in the field of inter-parliamentary cooperation, such as the EU Speakers' Conference and COSAC, in line with the new institutional arrangements. --