Memorandum submitted by the German Bundestag
Thank you very much for your interest in the
German Bundestag's position on the idea of a Second Chamber for
the European Union. The issue has indeed been discussed vividly
and with great interest in recent years in the Bundestag's Committee
on the Affairs of the European Union. Although it was univocally
expressed that the existing contacts between the national parliaments
of the EU member states should be intensified, it remained undisputed
that this should happen within the existing framework.
When on 3 February 1997 the German Bundestag
decided against the institutionalisation of COSAC or its transformation
into some kind of Second Chamber comprising representatives of
national parliaments, it explained its decision as follows: First
and foremost, it was generally felt that any institutionalisation
of COSAC would further complicate the already unwieldy decision-making
process within the European Union. Secondly, the German Bundestag
fears that an institutionalised COSAC, or any other kind of Second
Chamber could become a rival to the European Parliament, thereby
eroding the latter's power which has just been increased by the
Amsterdam Treaty andpartlyby the Treaty of Nice.
Thirdly, the German Bundestag is satisfied with
its role in European Policy. The German Bundestag's right to information,
and its right of participation in European policy, are guaranteed
by Article 23 of the German Basic Law and the Provisions of the
Law on Co-operation between the Federal Government and the German
Bundestag in Matters Concerning the European Union. Hence, no
need is felt for the introduction of new institutions. This view
was confirmed during the 64th meeting of the Committee on the
Affairs of the European Affairs on 14 March 2001.
I hope that this answer is satisfactory for
you. For your information we have enclosed the relevant resolution
of the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union, dating
from 3 February 1997.