National MPs seek stronger EU policy role

Parliamentary environment committees aim to raise their profile through more regular contacts

Representatives of parliamentary environment committees from around the EU have agreed to set up their first ever regular communications channel via the Swedish parliament following a meeting held in Stockholm. The initiative marks a tentative step towards meeting an ambition of raising the profile of national parliaments in the EU environmental policy making process, according to an informed source.

Every EU national parliament except Greece's has a committee with explicit responsibility for environmental issues. But with little or no coordination until now these committees have had almost no visibility at EU level.

Held on Thursday and Friday in the Swedish parliament, last week's meeting marks the fourth time that national parliamentary environment committees have met, continuing a tradition started by Denmark in 1996. Of the EU's 15 national parliaments only the French was not represented.

The proposal to start a process of regular communications between committees was made by Christoph Matschie, chairman of the environment and agriculture committee of the Bundestag, Germany's lower parliamentary house.

Follow Up:
Swedish parliament, and meeting press notice; more info from tel: +46 8 786 4891.

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