This Conference gathers together Speakers of the Parliaments of the EU Member States and the President of the European Parliament. Speakers of Parliaments of candidate countries are invited to participate as observers.
It is the body which de facto assumes the leading role in interparliamentary relations defined in Article 9 of Protocol (No 1) on the Role of National Parliaments in the European Union of the Treaty of Lisbon, which reads "[t]he European Parliament and national Parliaments [...] together determine the organisation and promotion of effective and regular interparliamentary cooperation within the Union". The Conference meets each spring in the country that held the Council Presidency during the second semester of the previous year.
In April 2012, in Warsaw, the Conference of Speakers of EU Parliaments decided to establish the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy. In April 2013 in Nicosia, the Conference adopted the framework for the new Interparliamentary Conference on Article 13 of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance.
The purpose of the Conference is to exchange opinions, information and experiences on topics related to the role of parliaments and the organisation of parliamentary functions. The Conference also aims to promote research activities and common action with respect to the forms and instruments of interparliamentary cooperation.
One of these instruments is the Interparliamentary EU information exchange (IPEX). It was created on the basis of recommendations and agreements by the Conference in Rome and the Hague, respectively in 2000 and 2004. The Conference lays down the objectives of IPEX.
The Conference is preceded by a preparatory meeting of the Secretaries General of the participating national Parliaments.