LVI. Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of the European Union Parliaments (Plenary COSAC) Vytlačiť stránku / Print page

Date: 11/13/2016 - 11/15/2016 
Location: The Winter Riding Hall building at the Bratislava Castle 

All photos (FLICKR)

COSAC (fr. Conférence des organs spécialisés en affaires communautaires) unifies European Affairs Committees of national parliaments of EU Member States, as well as Members of the European Parliament.

Plenary COSAC meetings are held twice a year and each national Parliament is represented by six Members. Each plenary meeting is prepared at a preceding separate meeting of the EU Affairs Committee Chairpersons (usually at the beginning of the Presidential semester).

The European Parliament delegation to COSAC is co-chaired by one of the Vice-Speakers of the European Parliament responsible for Relations with national Parliaments and the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO).

The national Parliaments of the EU candidate countries are invited to participate with three observers, each. COSAC meetings usually take place in the capital city of the country currently hosting the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

COSAC was established in May 1989 in Madrid, where Speakers of Parliaments of the European Community Member States agreed on a need of strengthening the role of national Parliaments in relation to European Community matters by creating space for meetings of parliamentary European Affairs Committees.

The first COSAC meeting took place on 16-17 November 1989 in Paris. The next one, the 56th plenary COSAC meeting, will commence on 13-15 November 2016 in Bratislava.

COSAC was formally and legally recognized by the Treaty of Amsterdam, entering into force on 1 January 1999, in the Protocol on the Role of National Parliaments in the EU.

According to Article 10 of Protocol (No 1) on the Role of National Parliaments in the European Union of the Treaty of Lisbon, the COSAC "may submit any contribution it deems appropriate for the attention of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The Conference shall in addition promote the exchange of information and best practice between national Parliaments and the European Parliament, including their special committees. It may also organize interparliamentary conferences on specific topics, in particular to debate matters of common foreign and security policy, including common security and defence policy. Contributions from the Conference shall not bind national Parliaments and shall not prejudge their positions."