Parliament in EU affairs – on the wrong side of St. Mark’s Square?

Zagreb, 13.03.2013 - Tomislav Karmarko i potpredsjednik Hrvatskog sabora Tomislav Èuljak tijekom sjednice Hrvatskog sabora. foto FaH/ Denis CERIÆ /ds

The Croatian Parliament opened its session on Wednesday with a debate on a bill governing cooperation between the country’s Parliament and Government in European affairs, which is due to take effect on July 1.

Under the bill, the Prime Minister and the Government will be required to report more often than initially foreseen on EU issues, especially on European Council meetings.

The Prime Minister will have to report to Parliament once a year on European Council meetings held in the past year, and will have to submit written reports to the parliamentary Committee on European Affairs within 15 days of each European Council meeting.

Before each European Council meeting, the Government will have to submit the agenda and other accompanying documents, including draft Council conclusions if any, to the European Affairs Committee.

When necessary, at the invitation of the Speaker of Parliament the Prime Minister will be required to present at a session of Parliament or of the Committee the positions of Croatia at European Council meetings or submit a report on the Council meetings held.

Pedja Grbin, the chairman of the Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System, which sponsored the bill, said that the bill offered a good balance in relations between the legislative and executive authorities on EU issues and encouraged cooperation between Parliament and the Government under new circumstances.