Since it was first established at the request of the speakers of European Parliamentary Assemblies in June 1977, the European Centre for Parliamentary Research & Documentation (ECPRD) has been a useful tool for inter-parliamentary cooperation and information exchange.
Comparative requests, seminars and surveys by individual parliaments on particular topics offer all those involved the chance to work together.
The advent of the internet has made the Centre more accessible than ever.
See Statutes of the ECPRD
The Centre's aims
The data generated by the Centre’s members is extensive and specific information can be hard to track down. Bringing together the information, facilitating the exchange of ideas and making the retrieval of data and the circulation of studies easier is the Centre’s role.
The ECPRD acts as a channel for requests for information whenever one parliament would like to know more about practice and policy in other countries.
Three groups make up the ECPRD’s governing structure:
- two co-directors, each of whom assisted by a co-secretary;
- the Conference of Correspondents ;
- the Executive Committee.
The co-directors, appointed by the Secretary-General of the European Parliament and of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, are responsible for organising all the Centre’s activities.
The Secretary-General of each member parliament selects a senior official to be a representative at the annual Conference of Correspondents. Acting as a link between the Centre and their own parliament, these officials take part in determining the Centre’s programme.
The Executive Committee is made up of the two directors who are joined by five people elected from and by the Conference. Each year one (or two) is replaced. This brings a fresh approach without sacrificing continuity. Their job is to lay the ground work for the annual Conference of Correspondents and to keep up the impetus on the Centre’s work.