Interparliamentary conferences

Parliamentarians from the Euopean Union in the Hall of Knights at one of the conferences the Senate and the House of Representatives organised during the first half of 2016
Parliamentarians from the Euopean Union in the Hall of Knights at one of the conferences the Senate and the House of Representatives organised during the first half of 2016

An estimated one thousand EU-parliamentarians attended these six conferences in The Hague and Brussels. They discussed how national parliaments can be more involved in European decision-making. They also talked about parliamentary scrutiny: How can national parliaments exercise influence on EU decision-making?

Four "regular" conferences

The Senate and the House of Representatives organised a total of six interparliamentary conferences. Four of these are held every six months, regardless of who is holding the EU- presidency, for instance the interparliamentary conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and the conference of members of national parliaments who deal with European affairs, COSAC.

Two "thematic" conferences

In addition to these regular conferences the Netherlands organised two conferences about issues that deserve extra attention in the eyes of the Senate and the House of Representatives. On 14 March 2016, European parliamentarians came to the Hall of Knights for a thematic conference about human trafficking in the digital age, whereas on Monday 4 April 2016 a thematic conference about clean, safe and affordable energy was held in the Hall of Knights.

EU-Presidency

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates among the member states of the EU every six months. The first half of 2016 saw the 12th Dutch Presidency. In a letter to the House of Representatives, Mr Bert Koenders, minister of Foreign Affairs, looks back on the Dutch EU-Presidency. An agreement has been reached on medical appliances and on the European border and coast guard. Moreover, in its capacity of EU-President the Netherlands had to take action in the field of unforeseen developments such as the migration issue. From 1 July 2016 until 1 January 2017 the Slovak Republic is holding the EU-Presidency.