Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations
18 members of Parliament in total belong to the Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations: ten CSU members, four SPD members and two members each from the FREIE WÄHLER (FW) and Alliance 90/The Greens (GRU).
The increasing importance of European policy consequently led to a decision by the Bavarian State Parliament on 26.04.1978 to set up a committee which was to initially only deal with „information about federal and European affairs“. Today the committee meets under the name „Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations“. The Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations‘ area of responsibility specifically includes all the European Union‘s basic topics and issues, for example changes to its founding treaties, the expansion and financing of the EU, the provision of public services, cross-border and regional cooperation etc. The objective of the committee‘s work is to identify, express and introduce Bavarian interests into the EU‘s standardisation process or into the work process of national bodies as soon as possible. The committee hears experts for this and regularly keeps up-to-date on which activities the EU Commission is focusing on and the Council Presidency that changes every six months. It also deals with the Commission‘s Green and White Papers, which are often at the start of the EU‘s legislative process and serve to disclose the EU Commission‘s stance and give everyone concerned the chance to express their own interests.
One focus of the committee‘s work is subsidiarity monitoring of the EU‘s draft ordinances and directives. The committee examines each draft of the EU‘s legislative proposal to see whether a standardised EU ruling is required as the EU may only act in areas where it has authority and then only if a standardised ruling is required at EU level. The committee‘s decisions, which may also be final in the subsidiarity process due to the short time-limits, must duly be considered in accordance with Art. 70 Section 4 of the Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria. This means that the state government must always uphold the committee‘s vote for the final vote on a breach of subsidiarity in the Bundesrat.
The committee was given a new responsibility of „interregional relations“ at the start of the 17th electoral term. The task here will be to maintain the Free State of Bavaria‘s complex relations with neighbouring states, European states and regions and also partnership regions outside Europe and create sustainable structures for parliamentary exchange.
The committee‘s duty is also to advise on federal affairs. These are often motions that request the state government to act in a certain way at federal level. The committee advises on these motions from all policy areas once they have been dealt with beforehand in the specialised committees. One important objective of the committee‘s work in this area is to preserve and strengthen the Free State‘s independence within the Federal Republic of Germany‘s federal system. To summarise, the committee sees itself as a guardian of Bavarian competences and interests at national and European level. In addition, it is the contact for maintaining the Free State of Bavaria‘s interregional relations all over the world at parliamentary level.
The Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations Meetings
The meetings always take place on Tuesdays during sitting weeks. They are convened and chaired by the chairman. Besides the committee members and head of the committee office, state government representatives responsible for the specific agenda items also attend. With important political issues, responsible members of the government are also present. The Bavarian State Parliament‘s shorthand writers’ service documents the meetings.