The Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs
What is COSAC?
COSAC involves National Parliaments' committees dealing with European affairs as well as representatives from the European Parliament. According to the Protocol (No1) on the role of national Parliaments in the European Union annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon, COSAC is the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs.
COSAC was created in May 1989 at a meeting in Madrid, where the Speakers of the Parliaments of the EU Member States agreed to strengthen the role of the national Parliaments in relation to EU matters by bringing together their Committees on European Affairs. The first meeting of COSAC took place in November 1989 in Paris.
COSAC may submit any contribution it deems appropriate for the attention of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. In addition, it promotes the exchange of information and best practices between national Parliaments and the European Parliament, including their special committees. It may also organise inter-parliamentary conferences on specific topics, in particular to debate matters of common foreign and security policy, including common security and defence policy. However, COSAC contributions are not binding.
COSAC holds two ordinary meetings per year (each organised by the Parliament of the country which holds the 6-monthly Presidency of the Council of the EU). Each Parliament sends six of its members to the half-yearly meetings. The Parliaments of the candidate countries or countries in the process of accession may send three observers each.
A preparatory meeting is held a few months before each meeting and is attended by the chairs of the bodies specialising in Community and European affairs and a representative of the European Parliament. Each delegation consists of two members of the relevant Parliament.