EU Council Presidency: Parliamentary Dimension to start with meeting of COSAC Chairpersons on 9 July

Austrian Parliament, 26 June 2018

The first interparliamentary meeting will focus on subsidiarity and current challenges, including Brexit

Vienna – The Parliamentary Dimension of Austria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU will start on 9 July with a meeting of the Chairpersons of COSAC, the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union. The chairpersons of the European affairs committees of the EU member states’ parliaments will meet with members of the European Parliament to discuss questions relating to subsidiarity within the Union as well as current challenges, including Brexit and migration issues.

The first interparliamentary meeting chaired by Austria will be opened by National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka and incoming Federal Council President Inge Posch-Gruska, who will assume office in July. The meeting will be co-chaired by Reinhold Lopatka, chairperson of the European Affairs Committees of the National Council, and Christian Buchmann, chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Federal Council.

After a presentation of the priorities of the Austrian Presidency by State Secretary Karoline Edtstadler from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and the First Vice President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuiness, will speak about the future and perspectives of the European Union. Vice-President Timmermans will also discuss the latest activities of the Task Force on Subsidiarity established by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, which is due to conclude its work shortly afterwards.

The Parliamentary Dimension of Austria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Parliamentary Dimension is an important part of every EU Presidency. This has been particularly true since the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon, which has strengthened the role of national parliaments in the EU’s legislative process. Notably, several new conference formats have developed in recent years, among them the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (SECG).

The COSAC Chairpersons’ meetings facilitate regular exchanges of information on debates about current EU issues in the national parliaments, as well as discussions about the role of the national parliaments within the EU. They also function as preparatory meetings for the COSAC plenary sessions. This year’s plenary session is scheduled to take place in November and will be chaired by Austria. The COSAC Presidential Troika of representatives from Bulgaria, Austria and Romania (the latter country will assume the EU Presidency in January 2019) will meet on the day before the Chairpersons’ meeting.

Austria has defined the strengthening of democracy, regional stability and security, as well as subsidiarity within the EU, as the main thematic areas of the Parliamentary Dimension of its Presidency.

In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, the European affairs committees of the national parliaments are the bodies responsible for discussing EU policy plans and draft legislation. The Austrian parliament exercises its rights of participation in the EU legislation process through two committees of the National Council (EU Main Committee and Standing EU Sub-Committee) and the EU Committee of the Federal Council.

Media accreditation

The permanent accreditation to the Austrian Presidency of the Council is valid for all conferences and media events within the Parliamentary Dimension. Please submit applications for permanent accreditation online through the website

One-day accreditations to the COSAC Chairpersons’ meeting will be processed by the Media Service of the Parliamentary Administration (; the deadline for applications is 4 July 2018. Moreover, holders of permanent accreditations to the Austrian parliament may also attend the meeting. No ad-hoc accreditations will be issued on the day of the meeting.

Meeting of the Chairpersons of COSAC – Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union

Date and time: Monday, 9 July 2018, 8.30 – 13.00 hrs.

Venue: Großer Redoutensaal, Hofburg

Programme details are available at

For more Information:
Press Office
Tel. +43 1 40110/2272