L COSAC: the biggest and most important parliamentary dimension event commences this weekend

28 October 2013, Last updated at, 16:09 EEST
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 On 27–29 October 2013, the 50th Meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) will take place in the historical Hall of the Act of 11 March of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, in Vilnius. It is a Conference of members of the committees of the national Parliaments of the European Union Member States dealing with European Union affairs as well as of Members of the European Parliament, which is held by the Presidency Parliament. The plenary meeting of COSAC is a mandatory, the biggest and most important event of the parliamentary dimension bringing together up to 300 participants (the number of delegations from the national Parliaments exceeds the number of the EU Member States because most states have bicameral parliaments; parliamentary committees for European Union affairs from EU candidate countries are invited as observers; parliamentarians from other countries are often invited as guests).

Lithuania looks forward to welcoming a large number of honourable guests where Laurent Fabius, founder of COSAC, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of France and former Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of France, is the highlight of the meeting. It is expected that the event will be attended by Pat Cox, Former President of the European Parliament; Hans-Gert Pöttering, Former President of the European Parliament and Member of the European Parliament; Bariza Khiari, Vice President of the Senate of the French Republic; Maroš Ševčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission; and other distinguished guests.

 

27 October 2013, being the first day of the event, has been reserved for the Meeting of the Presidential Troika of COSAC, as well as for the informal debate of members of parliaments of 8 EU Member States (Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland) and representatives of the European Parliament to discuss the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

 

On 28 October 2013, the participants of the L COSAC Meeting will be welcomed by Loreta Graužinienė, Speaker of the Seimas, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (Video address from Brussels).

 

The Meeting of the L COSAC will focus on the state of play of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, democratic legitimacy in the EU and the role of EU Parliaments, and the digital agenda. It should also discuss the upcoming European Elections 2014 and recent developments of the Eastern Partnership. At the initiative of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, there is a proposal to set up the COSAC Women’s Forum during the jubilee L COSAC Meeting. The aim of the Forum is to promote more active involvement of women politicians in the activities of COSAC and discuss the most relevant matters on the political agenda of the European Union. The Forum is expected to adopt a declaration calling on the upcoming Presidency Parliaments to take over and continue developing the initiative of promoting engagement of women parliamentarians in the activities of COSAC.

 

The adoption of the Contribution and Conclusions of the L COSAC is expected at the end of the Meeting.

 

For a more detailed and comprehensive programme of the event, please visit the page dedicated to the event on the website of the parliamentary dimension of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU www.eu2013.lrs.lt.

 

The event will be broadcast live on the Culture Channel of the Lithuanian National Television LRT, the website of the Seimas, the website of the parliamentary dimension of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the television channel titled Seimas – tiesiogiai.

 

Gediminas Kirkilas, Chair of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, and Loreta Raulinaitytė, Director of the Communications Department of the Office of the Seimas and EU Presidency Coordinator, will introduce the event in the TV show “Labas rytas, Lietuva” on the Lithuanian Radio and Television LRT on 28 October 2013 at 7.10 a.m., and at the LRT radio programme “Ryto garsai” at 7.25 a.m. on the same day.

 

Press conferences and press points

 

On Monday, 28 October 2013, at 11 a.m., in the Seimas Press Conference Hall (Building 2), a press conference will be held with the participation of Gediminas Kirkilas, Chair of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs; Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of France; Pat Cox, Former President of the European Parliament; Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Vice President of the European Parliament; Eva Kjer Hansen, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Danish Folketing; and Dominic Hannigan, Chair of the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs of the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas.

 

On Tuesday, 29 October 2013, at 8.55 a.m., a press point with the participants of the COSAC Women Forum is scheduled to take place near the Constitution Hall (Building 1, near the Office of the Speaker of the Seimas).

 

On Tuesday, 29 October 2013, at 12 a.m., a press conference of Hans-Gert Pöttering, Former President of the European Parliament and Member of the European Parliament, will be held in the Seimas Press Conference Hall (Building 2).

COSAC was established in May 1989 at a meeting in Madrid, where the Speakers of the Parliaments of the EU Member States agreed to strengthen the role of national Parliaments in relation to the Community matters by bringing together their Committees on European Affairs. The first meeting of COSAC took place on 16-17 November 1989 in Paris.

 

According to Protocol No 1 on the Role of National Parliaments in the European Union of the Treaty of Lisbon, COSAC may submit any contribution for the attention of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission; it may initiate and promote the exchange of information and best practice between national Parliaments and the European Parliament, including their special committees. COSAC may also organise interparliamentary conferences on specific topics, in particular to debate matters of common foreign and security policy, including common security and defence policy.  

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