What is the Parliamentary Dimension?

From January to June 2017, Malta will hold the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. As from 1 January 2016, the Republic of Malta, together with the Kingdom of The Netherlands and the Slovak Republic, form the so-called “Trio” for the duration of 18 months. The Trio, based on the principle of rotation, ensures continuity and consistency in the work of the Council of the EU. The Trio defines a general agenda and implements a joint programme, while each of its members, in a predetermined order, presides over the Council of the EU for a period of six months.

In recent years national parliaments have gained growing relevance in the European decision making structure, not least since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which has at times been referred to as ‘the Treaty of national parliaments’ due to the new powers it grants to these institutions. 

This growing relevance of national parliaments and their EU dimension has also been reflected in a strengthening of the parliamentary dimension of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, including the setting up of new inter-parliamentary conferences and also existing conferences with the adoption of relevant rules of procedure. In addition to the meetings that have come to be organised by every Presidency, the Maltese Parliament will be organising a number of other meetings of Chairpersons of parliamentary committees. 

Furthermore, the Maltese Parliament will also host a number of incoming visits. The aim of these visits is to discuss Malta’s priorities during the Presidency of the Council with the law-makers of the country.