Home Events LXVIII Plenary Meeting of COSAC - Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC)

One COSAC plenary meeting is held during each presidency in the current presidency state. The COSAC plenary approves conclusions and contributions on the issues discussed, usually related to the currently debated initiatives at the EU level, to priorities of the current presidency or to the regularly addressed issues of strengthening parliamentary control in European affairs and development of cooperation among national parliaments. The plenary is attended by up to six representatives for each EU national parliament and the European Parliament. It is also open to up to three members of candidate country parliaments and other guests as observers. The proposed conclusions and contribution of COSAC are adopted by consensus in principle. As opposed to the other existing inter-parliamentary platforms, if consensus cannot be reached, the Rules of Procedure of COSAC enable in very exceptional cases voting. A proposal is adopted if it wins support of three quarters of the votes cast. Each EU parliament (including the European Parliament) has two votes. At the same time, the majority must constitute at least half of all votes.

The COSAC plenary meeting is chaired jointly by chairpersons of the European committees of both chambers of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

The history and operation of COSAC

COSAC (from the French Conférence des organes spécialisés dans les affaires communautaires) was established in 1989 upon the initiative of the then President of the French National Assembly, Laurent Fabius. As part of the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments held in Madrid, Fabius raised a proposal to elevate the role of national parliaments in the EU decision-making procedures, inter alia, through chairing the COSAC. The Speakers supported the idea and agreed that the Conference should meet at least twice a year in the current presidency country and should discuss issues of common interest. The first meeting took place several months later in Paris and the main theme was enhancing parliamentary control in European affairs. This cross-cutting theme still remains a part of the COSAC conferences.

The operation of COSAC is governed by the Rules of Procedure of 2011, replacing the original Rules of Procedure of 2007. According to their provisions, a preparatory meeting at the level of chairpersons (so-called small COSAC) is held every six months, serving as a basis for the plenary meeting.

COSAC is the most influential platform for exchanging information and good practice among national parliaments and the European Parliament in terms of the practical impact of its decisions. From the viewpoint of primary law, it is the only platform of inter-parliamentary cooperation, explicitly mentioned in Protocol No 1 on the role of national parliaments in the European Union, attached to the Treaty of Lisbon. In line with its Art. 10, COSAC may submit any contribution it deems appropriate for the attention of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The contributions do not bind the participating parliaments and do not prejudge their positions. Moreover, COSAC should “promote the exchange of information and best practice between national parliaments and the European Parliament, including their special committees”. According to the Rules of Procedure, the Conference is the only one to have a permanent secretariat in Brussels, consisting of officers of the presidency trio parliaments and one permanent member co-financed by all EU national parliaments. They share in the organisation of all meetings and ensure continuity of COSAC activity. Every six months, they draw up a report on activities of the national parliaments in European affairs. In doing that, they draw on answers from a questionnaire they prepare every six months.

Agenda

  • November 13, 2022

    15:00 — 18:00Arrival of delegations, check-in at the hotels, accreditation

    17:30 — 19:00Meeting of the Presidential Troika of COSAC

    17:30 Departure by shuttle buses from the hotels

    18:00 - 19:00 Meeting of the Presidential Troika,
    Venue: Chamber of Deputies, Sněmovní 4, Praha 1

    19:00 Departure by shuttle buses for the dinner reception

    19:00Departure by shuttle buses from the hotels to the dinner venue

    19:30 — 22:00Dinner reception

    hosted by Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies

    Venue: Žofín Palace, Slovanský ostrov 226, Praha 1

    22:00Return by shuttle buses to the hotels

  • November 14, 2022

    7:15Departure by shuttle buses from the hotels to the meetings of the political groups

    8:00 — 8:45Meetings of the political groups (tbc)

    8:00 — 8:45Departure by shuttle buses from the hotels to the conference venue

    Venue: O2 Universum, Českomoravská 2345/17, Praha 9 - Libeň

    9:00 — 9:20Opening of the meeting

    Welcome address by Ms Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies

    Opening remarks by
    • Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies
    • Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    Adoption of the Draft Agenda for the Plenary Meeting of the LXVIII COSAC

    9:20 — 9:50Procedural issues and miscellaneous matters

    • Results of the Meeting of the Presidential Troika of COSAC
    • Presentation of the 38th Bi-annual Report of COSAC
    • Letters received by the Presidency
    • Procedural issues
    • Any other business

    9:50 — 10:00(tbc) Keynote Video Message: Ms Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

    10:00 — 11:00Session I: The Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU

    Session chaired by Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies/Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    Keynote Speaker: Mr Petr Fiala, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (tbc)

    Debate

    11:00 — 11:30Coffee break

    11:30 — 13:00Session II: Future of the EU

    Session chaired by Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies/Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    Keynote Speaker 1: Ms Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament (tbc)
    Keynote Speaker 2: Ms Věra Jourová, Vice - President of the European Commission

    Debate

    13:00 — 14:45Family photo and buffet lunch

    14:45 — 16:15Session III: Strategic autonomy of the EU

    Session chaired by Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies/Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    Keynote Speaker: Mr Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission

    Debate

    16:15Return by shuttle buses to the hotels (except the Chairpersons)

    16:15 — 17:30Meeting of the COSAC Chairpersons

    16:15 - 16:30 Coffee break

    16:30 - 17:30 Discussion on the Draft Contribution and Draft Conclusions of the LXVIII COSAC

    17:30 Return by shuttle buses to the hotels

    19:30Departure by shuttle buses from the hotels to the dinner venue

    20:00 — 22:30Dinner reception

    hosted by Ms Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies

    Venue: Smetana Hall, Municipal House, Náměstí Republiky 1090, Praha 1, Staré Město

    22:30Return by shuttle buses to the hotels

  • November 15, 2022

    8:15Departure by shuttle buses from the hotels to the conference venue

    Venue: O2 Universum, Českomoravská 2345/17, Praha 9 - Libeň

    9:00 — 10:45Session IV: Ukraine - state of play, reconstruction, migration

    Session chaired by Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies/Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    Keynote Speaker: Mr Tomáš Pojar, Advisor to Prime Minister of the Czech Republic on Security and Foreign Affairs Issues

    Debate

    10:45 — 11:10Coffee break

    11:10 — 12:40Session V: European Perspective of the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries

    Session chaired by Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies/Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    Keynote Speaker: H. E. Mr Miroslav Lajčák, EU Special Representative for the Belgrade - Pristina Dialogue and Western Balkans, EEAS

    Debate

    12:40 — 13:00Closing session: Adoption of the Contribution and Conclusions of the LXVIII COSAC

    Session chaired by Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies/Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    Closing remarks by
    • Mr Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies
    • Mr David Smoljak, Chairman of the Committee on EU Affairs, Senate

    13:00 — 14:00Lunch

    14:00Return by shuttle buses to the hotel

Contacts

In case of problems with registration or accreditation contact: [email protected] Should you have any other questions, please use the following e-mail [email protected]
  • Ondřej Benešík

    Ondřej Benešík

    Chairperson of the Committee on European Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies

  • Filip Ficner

    Filip Ficner

    Secretary of the Committee on European Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies

  • David Smoljak

    David Smoljak

    Chairperson of the Committee on EU Affairs of the Senate

  • Štěpánka Götthansová

    Štěpánka Götthansová

    Secretary of the Committee on EU Affairs of the Senate