Cancellation of events with external participants

In light of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the President of the European Parliament announced on 13 January 2021, a new decision on security measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Events with external visitors at Parliament premises should not be organised or are cancelled until further notice. Consequently, all face-to-face interparliamentary meetings have been cancelled, postponed or replaced by remote meetings.

INTERPARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE MEETING ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021

"WE ARE STRONG: WOMEN LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19"

© European Parliament

An Interparliamentary Committee Meeting on "We are strong: Women leading the fight against Covid-19" celebrating International Women's Day 2021, took place on 4 March in the European Parliament in Brussels. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and sanitary restrictions, the meeting has been held online. It has been organized by Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality in cooperation with the Legislative Dialogue Unit of the Directorate for Relations with National Parliaments. This conference brought together almost 60 Parliamentarians from 26 EU national Parliaments and Norway.

In first part of the conference, Evelyn Regner, FEMM Chair, outlined the work of the FEMM Committee in relation to the theme of the event, notably the report underlying the resolution of the European Parliament on the gender perspective in the Covid-19 crisis and post-crisis period. She underlined that the current crisis is a "feminine crisis" as it has deep impact on women's economic and social conditions. She added that the Recovery and Resilience Fund represents the opportunity to improve the inequalities affecting women's lives.

David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, presented the work of the European Parliament to advance the gender equality agenda at the administrative and political levels. He paid tribute to brave women who have deployed outstanding efforts at the forefront during the COVID-19 crisis, especially in the care sector and in their domestic responsibilities. He reiterated that many women have been constrained to work part-time or to stay at home and take care of children, the elderly or persons with disabilities. President mentioned that the EU politicians must put all efforts to bring to life the real representation of women in the management and decision-making positions.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the first gender-balanced European Commission, started her intervention by naming three women scientists who contributed to the recently developed in the run against the clock, the vaccines against the Covid-19. She acknowledged that women need to be in the centre of all EU policies and at the centre of the recovery plan. She deplored the growing home violence during the pandemic. She reminded that to respond to this worrying situation the European Commission will propose legislation to fight violence against women still this year.

Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of the Hellenic Republic, reaffirmed most of the points raised by the previous speakers and drew the attention on the extremely precarious situation of female migrants that are often victim of physical and psychological abuses. She focused on the condition of women in Greece where the pay gap between men and women is even more important, especially in the assistance and care sector.

Second part of the ICM was dedicated to the panel discussion on "Women on the frontlines: lessons learnt from the crisis management". Frances Fitzgerald, Member of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, moderated the debate with five invited panellists (Khadija Arib, President of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands; Dr Isabelle Loeb, Medical director at CHU St Pierre, Brussels; Kristel Krustuuk, Founder and Chief Testing Officer, Testlio; Carlien Scheele, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality and Concha Andreu, Rapporteur of the European Committee of the Regions on the Gender Equality Strategy) and Members of the national and European Parliaments. The recurrent issues raised during the debate were still existing pay gap, domestic violence, work-life balance, quality education and recognition of gender based crimes. The gender equality must be at centre of all EU policies and the recovery process. After so many years, the glass ceiling still exists and this must be broken by appointing more women in the managerial and decision making positions. The empowerment should start in schools where girls are enrolled in a high quality education opening the path to multiple professional activities. 

Certainly, this type of exchanges is a great example but it should be followed-up by the concrete actions and legislative proposals at the European and national level. The EC President has already announced the new proposal for a directive to impel pay transparency, a precondition for women to claim their rights whether they are not being treated on equal footing with men.

To conclude with Simone de Beauvoir "Never forget that a political, economic or religious crisis will be enough to cast doubt on women's rights. These rights will never be vested. You'll have to stay vigilant your whole life."

FEMM ICM on the occasion of Women's Day 2021 - 4 March 2021

ICM  on International Women's Day 2021-Women's empowerment and leadership in COVID-19 times

On the occasion of the 2021 International Women's Day, the European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), in cooperation with the Legislative Dialogue Unit of the Directorate for Relations with national Parliaments, invited Members of national Parliaments of the EU Member States to attend a virtual Interparliamentary Committee Meeting (ICM). 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for gender equality and women's economic empowerment in order to build resilient societies, boost rules of employment, social security and pensions for all women, especially in female dominated sectors, and more generally change models in the provision of care and value of work (including unpaid care work). At the same time, the necessity was confirmed of equal representation of women and men in leadership and the decision-making process when enacting and lifting measures in crises, as well as in all stages of the design, adoption and implementation of recovery plans. This ICM provided a global forum for an exchange of best practices and knowledge sharing. At the same time, it allowed to gain insights into the recent developments in advancing women's empowerment during crises triggered by COVID-19.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this meeting was held remotely via a videoconference on Thursday, 4 March 2021 from 9.00 to 12.00 at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Upcoming virtual European Parliamentary Week 2021 - 22 February 2021

For the first time since its inception in 2012, the European Parliament, together with the Portuguese Parliament, organized remotely the European Parliamentary Week. This virtual meeting was held via a video conference in the European Parliament, in Brussels on 22 February 2021.

The European Parliamentary Week brings together Parliamentarians from the European Union, candidate and observer countries to discuss economic, budgetary, environmental and social matters. This year edition was dominated by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on EU economies and its recovery. The parliamentarians debated on the preparations of national recovery and resilience plans as well as investing in climate, social and economic priorities.

The European Parliamentary Week consists of the European Semester Conference and the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union.

The European Semester Conference provides an opportunity to exchange information on best practices in implementing the Semester cycles, and to strengthen cooperation in order to scrutinise the actions of the executives at national and European levels within the framework of the European Semester.

The Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union [Article 13 Conference of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Compact)] provides a framework for debate and exchange of information and best practices in implementing the provisions of the Treaty and aims to strengthen cooperation between national Parliaments and the European Parliament. The Conference also contributes to ensuring democratic accountability in the area of economic governance and budgetary policy in the EU, particularly in the European Monetary Union, taking into account the social dimension and without prejudice to the competences of national Parliaments and the European Parliament.

COSAC Chairpersons' meeting, 11 January 2021

Copyright Portuguese Presidency

The COSAC Chairpersons' meeting, organised by the Portuguese Assembleia da República, took place remotely on 11 January 2021 and it was the first Conference under the scope of the Parliamentary Dimension of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council. It was preceded by a Presidential Troika meeting on 7 January 2021. The European Parliament was represented by the First Vice-President in charge of relations with national Parliaments, Ms Roberta Metsola.

Interparliamentary Committee Meeting with the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) – 2 December 2020

Mr David McAllister, Chair of the EP committee on Foreign Affairs - ©European Union 2020 - Source: EP / Benoit BOURGEOIS

The EP's Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) organized an Interparliamentary Committee Meeting (ICM) with national Parliaments on Wednesday, 2 December 2020 in Brussels.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss the topic of the Western Balkans: 25 years after the Dayton Accords and in the second session the issue of A united EU response in support of democratic change in Belarus.

The AFET Committee invited Members of national Parliaments to the ICM to share their views and experience while giving a positive and essential contribution in the discussion.

Due to the restrictions taken by European Parliament to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held by remote participation via an online meeting tool.

The meeting was web streamed and can be viewed on the EP website.

Interparliamentary Committee Meeting with the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - 1st meeting on "The Evaluation of Eurojust's Activities" - 1 December 2020

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, with the support of the Directorate for Relations with national Parliaments,organised the first Interparliamentary Committee Meeting (ICM) on "The Evaluation of Eurojust's Activities". The meeting took place on Tuesday, 1 December 2020 in Brussels.

The event was the first annual Interparliamentary Committee Meeting dedicated to the assessment of Eurojust's activities by the European Parliament and national Parliaments. In the first session, delegates discussed Eurojust's current and future activities, especially in the current pandemic and in the second session, the Future cooperation between Eurojust and the newly created European Public Prosecution Office. The meeting concluded with a third session, on Cooperation with third countries and Brexit related challenges concerning the fight against terrorism and cross-border organized crime.


Virtual COSAC Conference, 30 November-1 December 2020

Copyright German Presidency

The Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs (COSAC) Virtual meeting took place remotely on 30 November-1 December 2020. It was jointly chaired by Mr Gunther Krichbaum and Mr Guido Wolf, chairmen of the European Affairs committees of, respectively, the German Bundestag and the German Bundesrat. It was preceded by a remote Troika meeting on 27 November 2020. Delegations from the EU national Parliaments and the European Parliament had the possibility to debate an ambitious programme put together by the German Presidency. The programme included high-level keynote speakers, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and former Federal President of Germany, Horst Köhler.

High-level Interparliamentary Conference on Migration and Asylum in Europe - Ideas for implementation - 19 November 2020

© European Union 2020 - Source : EP

The Presidents of the European Parliament and the German Bundestag invited Members from national Parliaments and the European Parliament to the High-level Conference on Migration and Asylum, which took place last Thursday, 19 November 2020 in the European Parliament in Brussels under their auspices and that of the President of the European Commission. This meeting was co-organised by the European Parliament and the German Bundestag in co-operation with the other two Parliaments of the Trio Presidency, the Portuguese and Slovenian Parliaments.

Due to the restrictions taken by the European Parliament to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the meeting took place by remote participation. The meeting had a big participation and was attended by roughly 150 European and national Members and officials. Three words were repeated frequently during the debates: Humanity,Solidarity and Responsibility.

Interparliamentary Committee Meeting on "The first Annual Rule of Law Report by the Commission and the role of national Parliaments" - 10 November 2020

The EP's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) organized an Interparliamentary Committee Meeting (ICM) with National Parliaments on 10 November 2020 in Brussels on "The first Annual Rule of Law Report by the Commission and the role of national Parliaments". 

Members of the EU national Parliaments were invited to this ICM to share their views and experience on the role of national Parliaments in the context of the EU efforts to protect and enforce the Union values.

The aim of the meeting was to assess the first Annual Rule of Law Report adopted by the European Commission on 30 September 2020, in the context of the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights mechanism proposed by the European Parliament. It also provided an overview of the impact of COVID-19 measures on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, with a particular focus on the scrutiny exercised by national Parliaments during this period.

Due to the restrictions taken by European Parliament to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held by remote participation via an online meeting tool.

The meeting was also web streamed and could be followed in real time online on the EP website.

Interparliamentary Committee Meeting with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) - 27 October 2020

The EP's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) organized an Interparliamentary Committee Meeting (ICM) with National Parliaments on 27 October 2020 in Brussels on "Better Law Making from a digital perspective".  

The aim of the meeting was to discuss the role that digitization plays in the legislative process and how to ensure that new legislation is in accordance with modern requirements.

The JURI Committee invited Members of National Parliaments to the ICM to share their views and experience while giving a positive and essential contribution in the discussion.

Due to the restrictions taken by European Parliament to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held by remote participation via an online meeting tool.

The meeting was also web streamed and could be followed in real time online on the EP website

Seventh meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on EUROPOL - 28-29 September 2020

The seventh meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG), co-organised and co-chaired by the European Parliament and the German Parliament, took place on 28-29 September in the European Parliament in Brussels in the form of a remote meeting. The members of the JPSG community awaited the meeting eagerly, after the cancellation of the Zagreb edition of the sixth JPSG meeting, which was replaced by a written exchange of information, due to COVID and the March earthquakes.

The JPSG is a parliamentary forum tasked with politically scrutinizing Europol's activity. Its seventh meeting brought together, albeit virtually, 72 Parliamentarians of 36 Parliaments/Chambers from 25 Member States to discuss Europol activities on two consecutive days.The UK Parliament participated as a guest in the session on Brexit.

COSAC Chairpersons' meeting - 14 September 2020

Copyright German Presidency

The COSAC Chairpersons' meeting, chaired by the German Federal Council (Bundesrat), took place remotely on 14 September 2020. It was preceded by a Troika meeting on 13 July 2020. The European Parliament was represented by the Vice-Presidents in charge of relations with national Parliaments, Ms Mairead McGuinness and Ms Dita Charanzová.

Inter-parliamentary conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy – 4 September 2020, Berlin

©DBT/Werner Schuering

The 17th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy, took place on 4 September 2020 in Berlin, organised by the German Presidency. The meeting brought together 138 Members of Parliaments from national Parliaments, the European Parliament, observer and candidate countries as well as 80 officials. The EP delegation was composed by 14 MEPs and 14 officials. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the IPC was held remotely online, and lasted four hours, instead of the usual two days.

Annual Report 2019

The Annual Report of the Directorate for Relations with National Parliaments gives an overview of all activities and developments in interparliamentary cooperation with national Parliaments in 2019.

The annual meeting with the Conference of Speakers of EU Parliaments, meetings of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs (COSAC), Interparliamentary Conferences (IPCs) such as the European Parliamentary Week, the Inter-parliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (IPC SECG), the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy (IPC CFSP/CSDP) as well as the Europol Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group and Interparliamentary Committee Meetings remained fora for animated interparliamentary exchange.

In 2019, a number of topics resurfaced in discussions in most interparliamentary fora, such as Brexit and the EU's new multiannual financial framework. Common values and the rule of law, climate change, the Western Balkans and the European neighbourhood policy were also discussed on many occasions, not least because these topics were priorities of the EU Presidencies in 2019.


CANCELLED - FEMM Interparliamentary committee meeting on the occasion of the 2020 International Women's Day

©European Parliament

The FEMM International Women's Day 2020 event, planned to take place on 5th March, had to be cancelled due to the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

On the occasion of the 2020 International Women's Day, the European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) in cooperation with the Legislative Dialogue Unit of the Directorate for Relations with national Parliaments, is inviting Members of the national Parliaments of the EU Member States to attend an Interparliamentary Committee Meeting (ICM).  This year edition is an opportunity to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The event is organised around two thematic areas. The first session will tackle the Beijing+25 and Next Steps towards Generation Equality, and the second one will be dedicated to Women Leadership in the Fight for Climate Justice.

This ICM will provide a global forum for an exchange of best practices and knowledge sharing. At the same time, it will allow to gain insights into the recent developments in the gender equality field.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 5 March 2020 from 9.00 to12.30 at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Zagreb: Call for proactive EU foreign policy

© Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU

Members of the European Parliament and of the EU national Parliaments discussed the global challenges of the EU and European defence cooperation.

82 Members of national Parliaments from EU Member States, the European Parliament from EU candidate countries and countries attending as observers and guests called on the European Union to take on a global leadership role and actively defend and promote its values and interests worldwide. At this Inter-Parliamentary Conference that took place on 2-4 March in Zagreb, they also stressed the urgent need for strong political and strategic coordination and a more united and proactive external action for Europe. In particular, they emphasised that the EU needs to play a stronger role in promoting a political solution to the conflicts in Syria and Libya.



European Parliamentary Week 2020

For the first time under this term of the European Parliament and in the context of the economic and budgetary policies scrutiny, the European Parliament together with the Croatian Presidency organised the European Parliamentary Week 2020. It took place on 18 and 19 February 2020, at the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Parliamentary Week brought together Parliamentarians from the European Union, candidate and observer countries to discuss economic, budgetary and social matters. It consists of the European Semester Conference and the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union.

COSAC Chairpersons' meeting in Zagreb, 20-21 January 2020

Family photo of the COSAC Chairpersons' meeting - Copyright Croatian Parliament

The COSAC Chairpersons' meeting took place in Zagreb on 20-21 January 2020. It was the first interparliamentary event of the Croatian Presidency and brought together the Chairs of the EU Affairs Committees of the EU Parliaments and Chambers, the European Parliament, and candidate and guest countries. The European Parliament was represented by the First Vice-President, Mrs Mairead McGuinness, in charge of relations with national Parliaments and the Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, Mr Antonio Tajani. The Directorate for Relations with National Parliaments of DG PRES prepared this meeting and provided support and advice to the Members of the European Parliament.

AFET Interparliamentary committee meeting on “EU foreign policy priorities for the new institutional cycle”

A first exchange with the new EU leadership took place in Brussels on 4 December 2019

© EU 2019 - EP / DB

The Interparliamentary committee meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee enabled a first exchange between the new EU leadership and parliamentarians from the national Parliaments and the European Parliament, at the outset of the new mandate.

Mr Joseph Borell, High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission and Mr Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood participated at the meeting.

The half-day meeting took place from 14:00-17:00 in the afternoon on Wednesday, 4 December 2019, in room JAN 2Q2 in the EP premises in Brussels.

LXII COSAC Plenary meeting in Helsinki, 1-3 December 2019

Family photo of the LXII COSAC Plenary meeting ©Finnish Eduskunta

The LXII (62nd) COSAC Plenary meeting took place in Helsinki, on 1-3 December 2019. Delegations from the EU national Parliaments and the European Parliament had the possibility to debate on the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Rule of Law in the EU and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the future Commission, a Winning Climate Strategy for Europe and the developments on Brexit.

European Conference of Presidents of Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 24-25 October 2019

Opening speech by Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe / Photo : ©Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin

The European Conference of Presidents of Parliament took place on 24-25 October, in Strasbourg. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) hosted around 60 Presidents, together with 300 other delegates coming from the Council of Europe member states and partner countries, as well as other international assemblies.The European Parliament was represented by Ms Dita Charanzová, Vice-President.

ECON Committee Exchange of Views with National Parliaments

An exchange of views between Members from national Parliaments and Members of the European Parliament's Committee for Economic and Monetary affairs (ECON) took place on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 in the European Parliament in Brussels. The meeting brought together 12 Parliamentarians and 31 officials from national Parliaments of 19 Member States as well as 43 Members of the European Parliament.

Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol (JPSG) on 23-24 September 2019

The Fifth Meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol took place on 23 and 24 September 2019 in the European Parliament in Brussels. It was co-organised and co-chaired by the European Parliament and the Finnish Parliament. The meeting brought together 65 Parliamentarians of 37 Parliaments/Chambers from 27 Member States and 12 MEPs from the European Parliament delegation to the JPSG, re-established following the European elections.


Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the CFSP/CSDP: rules-based global order increasingly challenged

"The EU needs to take on a global leadership role and actively defend and promote our common values and interests in the world," the co-chairs said in their final statement of the 15th Inter-parliamentary Conference (IPC) for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CFSP/CSDP). They continued: "At a time when others are increasingly challenging the rules-based global order, we Europeans must defend multilateralism, international law, democracy and human rights."

The IPC held in Helsinki on 4-6 September 2019 was attended by193 parliamentarians from the EU Member States, the European Parliament, EU candidate countries and countries attending as guests.

Conference of the Speakers of the EU Parliaments, Vienna 8-9 April 2019

Copyright : Parlamentsdirektion/Johannes Zinner - Austrian Parliament

The annual Conference of the Speakers of EU Parliaments (EUSC) took place in Vienna, on 8-9 April 2019. It was chaired by Mr Wolfgang Sobotka, Speaker of the National Council of Austria, and Mr. Ingo Appé, Speaker of the Federal Council of Austria.

Weekly Agenda

Calendar of interparliamentary activities

Calendar of Multilateral parliamentary assemblies

Spotlight on Parliaments in Europe