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EC strengthens relations with national parliaments

The European Commission strengthens its relations with national parliaments – a greater voice for parliaments is a greater voice to Europe’s citizens

The European Commission is reinforcing its relationship with National Parliaments and aims, together with them, to communicate our policies in the Member States. This objective is an integral part of a culture where European institutions at large work together, but also as a communication tool for increasing a shared ownership of the European project by connecting with people and their elected representatives. The Commission’s relations with the national parliaments should take its starting point in three key objectives: mutual service, a continuous and open dialogue and concrete networking: a greater voice to parliaments is a greater voice to Europe’s citizens.

To that end the Commission has planned several actions in its co-operation with parliaments:

• VP Margot Wallström will visit all the national parliaments and attend the meetings of the Chairpersons of European Committees in National Parliaments (COSAC).

- All Commissioners, as well as Commission officials, should strive to be accessible and prepared to assist national parliament committees in their enquiries into EU policy.

• The Commission should start by listening, and therefore will seek to establish, the national parliaments’ requirements for types of information and ways of co-operation.

• Development of the Commission role of “facilitator” in electronic exchange of EU-related information between the national parliaments.

• Regular newsletters with direct information for the national parliaments.

• Information meetings for national parliaments’ civil servants on specific topics.

• The designation of a contact person for direct requests from national parliament administrations.

• Annual information reports on the Commission’s relations with the national parliaments.

Commenting on these proposals, Vice President Margot Wallström said: “These are the short-term goals, i.e. they should all be implemented during this year. The long term priorities will be defined together with all national parliaments. The outcome of the Constitution ratification process will of course have to be taken into due account.”

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