Conference of Delegation Chairs

The Conference of Delegation Chairs (CDC) is the political body in the European Parliament that coordinates the work of the 48 standing delegations.

The CDC ensures that the delegations work efficiently and in coordination with Parliament's other structures. Its regular meetings provide a forum in which to discuss issues and challenges common to the delegations.

Composition and chair

The members of the Conference are the chairs of Parliament's 48 standing delegations and of the 3 committees that work on international relations, the Committees on Foreign Affairs (AFET), Development (DEVE) and International Trade (INTA).

One of the 48 delegations chairs is elected chair of the Conference. He or she holds the position for a term of two-and-a-half years - half of the European Parliament's five-year term.


Meetings of the Conference of Delegation Chairs are usually held on the Tuesday of Strasbourg sessions.

Twice a year, the CDC plans the next six-month calendar of delegation meetings. The AFET, INTA and DEVE committees are consulted as part of this process.

In drafting the schedule, the CDC works with the parallel political body overseeing the work of committees, the Conference of Committee Chairs. Together, they check that the schedules of the delegations and committees do not clash with one another or with the European Parliament's general calendar of business.

Upcoming activities intended to support democracy and human rights outside the EU are also taken into account.

Parliament's Conference of Presidents, a group that includes the President of the European Parliament and the political group chairs, is responsible for approving the calendar of delegation activities.

Coordinating role

The Conference of Delegation Chairs coordinates with other political bodies in the European Parliament on a number of issues besides the calendar.

It submits recommendations about the delegations' work to the Conference of Presidents.

Parliament's Bureau - another political body, made up of the President and Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament - sometimes asks the CDC to carry out certain tasks.

The CDC draws on best practices in the work of these bodies in adopting common approaches and guidelines for the delegations' activities.

And by working with Parliament's committees, it also ensures that committees and delegations pull in the same direction. This, in turn, strengthens the European Parliament's contribution to EU foreign policy.