The provision of Article 13 TSCG to create an Interparliamentary Conference was the starting point for long discussions after which national parliaments and the European Parliament eventually reached a compromise. This article pursues a two-fold objective: It first examines the different phases of interparliamentary negotiations from 2012 to 2015. On the basis of a distinction between three competing models for interparliamentary cooperation, the article shows that the two models of EP-led scrutiny and creating a collective parliamentary counterweight did not prevail: Parliaments agreed that the new Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance (SECG) would follow the ‘standard’ interparliamentary conference (COSAC model). In terms of national parliaments’ actual participation, the lowest common denominator compromise has not changed the numbers of participating MPs: Attendance records are stable over time, the size of national delegations continues to vary and participating MPs are still twice as likely to be members of Budget or Finance committees than to be members of European affairs committees.
COSAC has played an active role in fostering and developing interparliamentary he central question addressed here is to assess whether COSAC is currently structured to allow NPs to obtain more information and access to the policy and decision-making circuits at EU level and, therefore, if NPs are benefiting from COSAC or are they, on the contrary, lagging behind and lost amidst so many interparliamentary meetings?
It is argued that COSAC occupies a key role in the multipolarised system of with the “global picture” and therefore in a unique position to bring coherence to the overall system. This paper therefore aims at putting forward some ideas and approaches regarding the role of COSAC in the effectiveness of interparliamentary cooperation, covering not only its present proceedings and output, but also some thoughts for further reflection on the future strengthening of COSAC.
commentary , Springer, Heidelberg, 1529-1634.
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