Future inter-parliamentary scrutiny of EU foreign, defence and security policy - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents


The dissolution of the Western European Union (WEU) and its Assembly in 2011 threatens to leave the EU's inter-governmental Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) without inter-parliamentary scrutiny. The inter-governmental nature of decision-making in the CFSP and CSDP, and the significance of the CFSP and CSDP activities to which EU Member States may agree, make it important that inter-parliamentary oversight should be continued, with national parliaments taking the lead. This short Report puts forward a proposal for successor arrangements to the WEU Assembly which has been drawn up in a process of consultation among relevant Select Committee Chairs of both Houses of Parliament, with a view to putting this proposal before each House for its approval. The Report recommends that the WEU Assembly should be succeeded by an EU Inter-parliamentary Conference on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security (COFADS). COFADS would secure continued inter-parliamentary scrutiny of this area of EU activity, would not be an autonomous institution and would minimise costs, while adding value to the work that each national parliament does on its own in this field.

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