Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations
The Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations is one of the Bavarian State Parliament's 14 standing committees. It has a total of 14 members of Parliament.
In the face of the growing importance of decisions at European level for Bavarian state policy, the "Committee for Information on Federal Affairs" changed its name to "Committee for Information on Federal Matters and European Affairs" back in April 1978. Today the committee operates under the name "Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations".
The committee's remit includes all basic topics and issues relating to the European Union, e.g. changes to its treaty foundations, enlarging and financing the EU, services of general economic interest, cross-border and regional cooperation, etc. The aim of the committee's work is to identify and formulate Bavarian interests and to incorporate them into the EU standard-setting process or into the working process of supraregional bodies at the earliest possible stage. To this end, the committee conducts expert hearings, for example, and keeps itself regularly informed on the key focal points of the activities of the EU Commission and the six-monthly rotating Council Presidency. It also deals with Green and White Papers and participates in the EU Commission's consultations; these are often at the beginning of an EU legislative process and serve to disclose the position of the EU Commission and give all parties concerned the opportunity to formulate their own interests.
One focus of the committee's work is to monitor the subsidiarity of draft EU regulations and directives. It examines each draft EU legislative act to determine whether a standardised EU regulation is necessary. The EU can only act in those areas in which it has an authorisation, and only when a standardised regulation on EU level is necessary and commensurate. If the committee identifies a subsidiarity complaint, there is routinely a corresponding State Parliament decision at the end of the proceedings. This vote must in turn be taken into account by the State Government during the final deliberations in the Bundesrat.
The committee was given the new responsibility of "interregional relations" at the beginning of the 17th electoral term. The remit here is to foster the State of Bavaria's diverse relations with its neighbouring countries, with European states and regions but also with non-European partner regions and to create sustainable structures for parliamentary exchange. In this context, particular importance is also attached to "development cooperation". The Bavarian State Parliament unanimously agreed on "Development Policy Guidelines" with its decision on 17 February 2016, printed paper 17/10078 on the basis of the deliberations of the Committee on Federal and European Affairs and Interregional Relations. Since then, these principles have formed a common framework of values on which the State of Bavaria's development cooperation is based.
The committee is also responsible for advising on federal affairs. These are often motions requesting the State Government to act in a particular manner at federal level. The committee advises on these motions from all policy areas, which have previously been handled in the specialised committees. The aim is to preserve and strengthen Bavaria's independence within the Federal Republic of Germany's federal system.
To sum up, the committee sees itself as a guardian of Bavarian authority and interests at both federal and European level. Furthermore, it is the worldwide contact for the parliamentary cultivation of the State of Bavaria's interregional relations.