Parliament of the Czech Republic  

  Final Declaration

The 5th meeting of the Association of European Senates
Prague, October 6. - 8., 2003


Prague, October 6 - 7, 2003

     The heads of delegations of European Senates present at the Prague meeting of the Association of European Senates,

state that the existence of a bicameral parliamentary structure, whilst with different models, enables:

  1. a more varied and therefore more complete, more legitimate representation of diverse social, ethnic, religious, territorial and political interests,
  2. the differentiation of the competencies, the composition, the orientation of activity and of the style of debate and work within the highest representative bodies of the state,
  3. a free exchange of opinions on the parliamentary ground not only between the government and the opposition within one single chamber but also between two chambers acting on the basis of the principles of complementarity, cooperation and supervision,
  4. a better execution of classical legislative and supervisory functions of the parliament in which both chambers can work whether they have the same law - making powers and functions or work together on the basis of a division of labour, according to the constitutional system within which they operate. However, many among the delegations present believe that a differentiation of composition and functions of the second chambers is desirable also for the sake of efficiency;
  5. improvement of the quality of the adopted legislation and efficiency of the legislative process,

declare that they will continue to explain to the broadest public the meaning of bicameralism which cannot be seen only in the sole existence and quality of the second chamber but especially in a balanced relationship not only between both chambers but also between those chambers and the other elements of the constitutional system;

confirm the order of countries hosting the next meetings of the Association , that is Poland, the Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland. The 6th meeting of the Association will take place in Warsaw on May 24 - 25 2004 with the theme: The Role of Senates in the European Union and in the process of European Integration. The 7th meeting will take place in Berlin in September 2005.

     The heads of delegations from member, accessing and candidate countries of the European Union emphasize the significance and the role of both chambers in the treatment of the matters important for national parliaments in the relation to the European Union as is determined in the draft of the Treaty establishing the Constitution for Europe.

to the Final Declaration
of the 5th Meeting of the Association of the European Senates

The Rules Governing the Association of the European Senates shall be amended as follows:

Article 1 (Composition), paragraph 1 shall read as follows:
" 1 Members of the Association of the European Senates are:
The Federal Council of the Federal Republic of Germany
The Federal Council of the Republic of Austria
The Senate of the Kingdom of Belgium
The House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Senate of Spain
The Senate of the French Republic
The Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Italy
The First Chamber of the States General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Senate of the Republic of Poland
The Senate of the Parliament of Romania
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
The National Council of the Republic of Slovenia
The Council of States of the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation
The Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic".

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