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Conference of Delegation Chairs

The Conference of Delegation Chairs (CDC) is the political body in the European Parliament that coordinates the work of the house's 44 standing delegations.

The CDC ensures that the delegations work efficiently and in coordination with Parliament's other structures. Its regular meetings provide a forum in which to discuss issues and challenges common to the delegations.

Composition and chair

The members of the Conference are the chairs of Parliament's 44 standing delegations and of the 3 committees that work on international relations, the Committees on Foreign Affairs (AFET), Development (DEVE) and International Trade (INTA).

One of the 44 delegations chairs is elected to be Chair of the Conference. He or she holds the position for a term of two-and-a-half years - half of the European Parliament's five-year legislative term.

Scheduling

Meetings of the Conference of Delegation Chairs are usually held on the Tuesday of Strasbourg sessions.

Twice a year, the CDC plans the next six-month calendar of delegation meetings. The AFET, INTA and DEVE committees are consulted during this process.

In drafting the schedule, the CDC works with a parallel political body overseeing the work of committees, the Conference of Committee Chairs. Together, they verify that the schedules of the delegations and committees are complementary and that they align with the general calendar of the European Parliament.

Upcoming activities aimed at supporting democracy and human rights outside the EU are also taken into account.

Parliament's Conference of Presidents, a group including the President of the European Parliament and the chairs of the political groups, is responsible for approving the delegations' calendar.

Coordinating role

The Conference of Delegation Chairs coordinates with other political bodies in the European Parliament on a number of issues besides the calendar.
It submits recommendations about the delegations' work to the Conference of Presidents.

Parliament's bureau - another political body, made up of the President and Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament - sometimes asks the CDC to fulfil certain tasks.

The CDC advocates best practices in the work of these different bodies and by adopting common approaches and guidelines for the delegations' activities.

And by working with committees, it also ensures that Parliament's committees and delegations remain aligned with one another. This, in turn, strengthens the European Parliament's contribution to EU foreign policy.