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Interparliamentary cooperation

The Italian Parliament has always taken an active part in interparliamentary cooperation with the EU, mainly in the shape of participation in meetings of representatives of all EU parliaments (national parliaments and the European Parliament) on themes of mutual interest.

The Conference of EU Speakers coordinates the configuration of interparliamentary cooperation and the type of instruments used. The Conference convenes once a year at the invitation of the President/Speaker of the host parliament, who acts as Conference Chairperson.

The Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) meets every six months at the Parliament of the country that holds the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union. COSAC can bring contributions it deems useful to the attention of EU institutions. In any case, the contributions do not constitute binding recommendations for national parliaments and do not impact on their position.

Meetings among representatives of corresponding Committees of national parliaments and the European Parliament are promoted by the Parliament of the Member state that holds the term presidency of the EU, or by the European Parliament or, in some cases, by other parliaments. In recent years, it has become common to hold parliamentary meetings jointly chaired by the parliament of the country that holds the EU presidency and by the European Parliament.

Cooperation among the administrations of parliaments in the EU ensures a constant exchange of information on matters of common interest, whether as part of the preparations for a single initiative, or with the aim of developing general purpose instruments and services to support the activity of parliamentary bodies. In the sphere of administrative cooperation, several specific common projects have been started, one of the most important of which is IPEX for the electronic exchange of information on European affairs among all the parliaments of the EU. The coordination and guidance of administrative cooperation is provided by the Secretary Generals acting with reference to the instructions given by the parliamentary presiding officers.