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Brussels, 11 February 2011

Commission calls for greater involvement by national parliaments in the European debate

The European Commission has asked the national parliaments to become more involved in the European debate on economic governance, and more particularly on the "European Semester" and the Europe 2020 Strategy. The need to step up the political dialogue between the Commission and the national parliaments was raised at the meeting of the chairs of delegation to the Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC). The representatives of the national parliaments and the European Parliament looked at areas where it would be useful to enhance interparliamentary cooperation and the arrangements for such cooperation.

At the end of the meeting, the Vice-President of the Commission responsible for inter-institutional relations and administration, Maroš Šefčovič, said: "We are counting on the national parliaments to encourage their governments to be ambitious in their national reform programmes. Following the intensification of our political dialogue with the national parliaments in recent years, the time has now come to focus on key European issues, beginning with economic governance."

In 2010, one indication of the intensification of this political dialogue was a considerable increase in the number of opinions addressed to the Commission by the national parliaments. Most of these were on the content of the Commission's proposals and communications rather than on matters linked to subsidiarity.

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