The European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD)

....less a centre but a network of people whose voluntary commitment contributes essentially to its well-functioning.

Since it was first established at the request of the Speakers of European Parliamentary Assemblies in June 1977, the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD), a community of parliamentary knowledge, has become a useful tool for inter-parliamentary cooperation and information exchange.

The ECPRDs members are Parliaments where the President is a member of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament.

The main activities of the ECPRD involve dealing with requests from one parliament to others in the network for information which is used to compare the legislative activities and parliamentary practice across different countries and in different institutions. There are also seminars hosted by one of the ECPRD member Parliaments which enable participants from member Parliaments to exchange different experiences and practice.

Structures

Four functions make up the ECPRDs governing structure:

  • Two Co-Directors, each of whom assisted by a co-secretary
  • The Conference of Correspondents
  • The Executive Committee
  • Coordinators for the four Areas of Interest

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 the Centres activities.

The Secretary-General of each member parliament appoints a senior official ECPRD Correspondent 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 Centres programme.

The Executive Committee is made up of the two directors who are joined by five Correspondents elected from and by the Conference. The task of the Executive Commitee is to lay the ground work for the annual Conference of Correspondents and to keep up the impetus of the Centre.

The Coordinators appointed by the Executive Committee take care respectively of one of the four Areas of Interest:

  • Economic and Budgetary Affairs
  • Information and Communication Technologies in Parliaments
  • Libraries, Research Services and Archives
  • Parliamentary Practice and Procedure

The private section of the ECPRD website is only accessible to staff in Member Parliaments.

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 STATUTES OF THE ECPRD [OCTOBER 2019]


The Statutes of the ECPRD were adopted by the ECPRD Secretaries General meeting
at the Conference of Speakers in Budapest on 7 June 1996 and subsequently amended
in Tallinn on 31 May 2006 and in Strasbourg on 21 September 2012 and 25 Oktober
2019


PREAMBLE
The European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD) was created
in 1977 at the request of the Conference of Speakers of European Parliamentary Assemblies
(as from 2004: the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament).


I. AIMS
Article 1
1. The objectives of the ECPRD are to promote the exchange of information, ideas, experience
and good practice among the administrations of parliaments in Europe on subjects of common
interest; to strengthen close co-operation among parliamentary services in all fields of
parliamentary administration, legislation, information, research and documentation; and to
collect, exchange and publicise studies produced by parliamentary services.
2. In the exchange of information the ECPRD shall promote, wherever possible, the use and
development of Information and Communication Technology.
3. The ECPRD shall co-operate with other networks dealing with the exchange of information
among parliaments in Europe.


II. COMPOSITION OF THE ECPRD
Article 2
The ECPRDs members are: the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe and parliamentary chambers where the President is a member of the European Conference of
Presidents of Parliament.
Article 3
1. A parliament possessing special guest or observer status with the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe may participate in the different activities of the ECPRD but may not
vote in its bodies.
2. The ECPRD may co-operate with non-European parliamentary chambers.


III. GOVERNING BODIES OF THE ECPRD
i. THE MEETING OF THE SECRETARIES GENERAL
Article 4
The ECPRD operates under the authority of the Secretaries General of member chambers. At their
meetings held every two years on the occasion of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament,
they approve the activity report and action programme of the ECPRD and establish priorities for its
functioning.
ii. THE CONFERENCE OF CORRESPONDENTS
Article 5
1. The Secretary General of each parliamentary chamber appoints a senior official
(Correspondent) to represent the chamber within the Conference of Correspondents of the
ECPRD. Secretaries General may also appoint Deputy Correspondents.
2. The Correspondent is selected from officials whose activities bring them into close contact
with the ECPRD and who have direct access to the Secretary General of the chamber. He/she
can thereby co-ordinate the activities of those officials of his/her chamber who are asked to
play an active role in the ECPRD.
Article 6
1. The Conference of Correspondents is responsible, in co-operation with the Co-Directors (see
Article 8), for the organisation of the activities of the ECPRD. It examines and adopts the
annual intermediate activity reports on the activities of the ECPRD, drafted and presented by
the Co-Directors, and the action programme of the ECPRD for the following years.
2. Meetings of the Conference of Correspondents, chaired by the Co-Directors, take place at least
every twelve months.
3. Decisions of the Conference of Correspondents are reached, in principle, by consensus. If
consensus cannot be reached, issues will be decided by a vote with a necessary majority of at
least two-thirds of the votes cast, representing a majority of members of the ECPRD (see
Article 2).
iii. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Article 7
1. The Executive Committee is composed of the two Co-Directors and five Correspondents
elected by the Conference of Correspondents. The Committee will meet as often as necessary,
at the request of at least two of its members or five Correspondents.
2. The members of the Executive Committee, other than the Co-Directors, shall be elected for a
period of three years. They may be re-elected once. Elections will take place at the
Correspondents annual meeting, with due consideration being paid to the need to maintain
geographical balance in the membership of the Executive Committee.
3. The Executive Committee may take decisions when a majority of its members is present.
Decisions shall be taken by a majority of the votes cast.
4. The Executive Committee prepares the biennial activity report which, together with the
ECPRD Priorities for the upcoming two years, is then submitted for approval to the
Secretaries General of Parliaments at their meeting during the European Conference of
Presidents of Parliament.
iv. THE CO-DIRECTORS
Article 8
1. The Secretaries General of the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe each nominate a senior official as a Co-Director of the ECPRD.
2. The two Co-Directors are responsible for the management of all activities of the ECPRD and
are assisted by the two Co-Secretaries of the ECPRD and by other officials of their respective
institutions.
3. The Co-Directors may at the same time be the Correspondents for their assemblies.

IV. WORKING METHODS
Article 9
1. The ECPRD promotes co-operation between member chambers through the exchange of
information, compilation of documentation and studies and the organisation of seminars; and
by the sharing of knowledge of parliamentary ICT applications. On a proposal from the
Executive Committee, the Conference of Correspondents shall establish detailed guidelines
for studies and comparative requests and for the organisation of ECPRD seminars.
2. The ECPRD may also participate in or initiate other activities organised within its fields of
interest.
3. When it considers that a given area requires a continuity of activity, the Conference of
Correspondents may decide on the appointment of a Co-ordinator responsible for promoting
close co-operation between the member chambers in that area. The Co-ordinator shall be
appointed by the Executive Committee from among the competent staff of member chambers,
with the consent of the chamber concerned, for a renewable term of three years.
4. On a proposal from the Executive Committee, and to meet specific terms of reference, the
Conference of Correspondents may also decide to set up ad hoc working groups composed of
staff of member chambers. The Executive Committee shall determine their duration, which
must not exceed three years.


V. FINANCING OF THE ECPRD
Article 10
1. Member chambers of the ECPRD meet the cost of participation of their officials in ECPRD
activities as well as the costs of communication with the ECPRD.
2. Member chambers may organise activities of the ECPRD, such as meetings, seminars etc., and
bear the costs of such events. They may also make voluntary financial contributions to the
ECPRD.
3. The operating costs of the ECPRD are covered by the budgets of the European Parliament and
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in conformity with current practice.
4. The ECPRD may accept outside donations following a favourable opinion from the
Conference of Correspondents.


VI. REVISION OF THE STATUTES
Article 11
The revision of these Statutes is the responsibility of the Secretaries General of the member chambers
gathered at their meeting on the occasion of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament.