XXI Finland 1999

The 21st COSAC in Helsinki on 10-12 October 1999 succeeded in concluding the debate on the reform of COSAC’s Rules of Procedure.

The working group that had been established in Berlin managed to agree a compromise that was endorsed by all delegations at the meeting. During the discussion, proposals were made to add German as a working language, and to ensure that the European Parliament did not participate in votes on Contributions addressed to the EU institutions; however, neither proposal was adopted. The European Parliament was willing to issue a unilateral declaration stating that the European Parliament would abstain from voting on any contribution addressed to it. Proposals to set up a secretariat and introduce majority decisions were rejected as clearly lacking sufficient support among delegations.

Consequently, the Helsinki COSAC adopted the new Rules of Procedure as proposed by the working group, including the unilateral declaration offered by the European Parliament. It was agreed, however, that the position of the European Parliament within COSAC should be studied further during the following Portuguese Presidency in order to make changes to the Rules of Procedure on this question if necessary.