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Relations with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

The Parliamentarians who make up the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) come from the national Parliaments of the organisation’s 47 member states. They meet four times a year in Strasbourg to discuss topical issues and ask European governments to take initiatives and report back. Each country, depending on its population, has between two and eighteen representatives, who reflect the political forces represented in its national Parliament.

Cooperation between the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is based on an agreement signed in 2007. This agreement envisages regular meetings between the political leaders and administrations of the two institutions. Other contacts between the two institutions include ad-hoc dialogue at committee level on specific issues or joint electoral observation missions. Once the European Union becomes a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, a number of MEPs will also be able to vote when PACE elects judges to the European Court of Human Rights.

Cooperation with PACE is also enshrined in the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure, with Rule 199 stipulating that "Parliament's bodies, particularly the committees, shall cooperate with their counterparts at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in fields of mutual interest, with the aim in particular of improving the efficiency of their work and avoiding duplication of effort". The Rules also lay down that the Conference of Presidents, in agreement with the competent authorities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, shall decide on the arrangements for implementing these provisions.

At administrative level, the two institutions cooperate for instance through the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD), which on EP side is managed by the Directorate for Relations with National Parliaments.

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