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D-RU: Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee

The inter-parliamentary relationship between the European Parliament and the Russian Federal Assembly dates back to the 1990s, following the establishment of the Russian Federation in December 1991.

The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee

From 1997 until 2014, relations with Russian legislators were mostly developed in the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC), an inter-parliamentary forum that was established by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed by the EU and Russia, on 24 June 1994.

The Agreement, which came into force in 1997, still constitutes the legal basis for EU-Russia relations. It established a framework for political dialogue between the EU and Russia, in order to strengthen their links, develop convergence of positions on international issues of mutual concern (and thereby enhance security and stability), and cooperate on matters related to democracy and human rights.

The European Parliament's D-RU Delegation, the body dedicated to political dialogue with Russia, made up half of the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. The other half was made up of a delegation from the two chambers of the Russian Federal Assembly: the State Duma and the Federation Council.

Between 1997 and early 2014, the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee served as a stable platform for developing cooperation and dialogue between the two delegations. The Committee followed and debated issues of common interest and covered a wide range of policy areas.

Since March 2014, however, the European Parliament has discontinued inter-parliamentary relations with the Russian Federal Assembly, in accordance with the EU diplomatic restrictive measures responding to the Ukrainian crisis.

The Delegation

The Delegation continues to meet and discuss issues related to EU-Russia relations on its own, in Brussels and Strasbourg. It also maintains a channel for discussion and exchanges with representatives of Russian civil society, academics, non-governmental organisations and media.

The Chair of the Delegation is Othmar Karas, an Austrian member of the European Parliament's Group of the European People's Party, while Liisa Jaakonsaari (Finland, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) and Jiří Maštálka (Czech Republic, Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left) are respectively First and Second Vice-Chairs.

The Delegation counts 31 full members, supported by a substantial corps of substitute members. All are nominated by the European Parliament's political groups, with the political makeup of the delegation mirroring that of Parliament as a whole.

Articles 95-97 of the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement


establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of one part, and the Russian Federation, of the other part

Article 95

A Parliamentary Cooperation Committee is hereby established. It shall meet at intervals which it shall itself determine.

Article 96

1. The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee shall consist of members of the European Parliament, on the one hand, and of members of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, on the other.

2. The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee shall establish its rules of procedure.

3. The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee shall be presided over in turn by a member of the European Parliament and a member of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation respectively, in accordance with the provisions to be laid down in its rules of procedure.

Article 97

The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee may request relevant information regarding the implementation of this Agreement from the Cooperation Council, which shall then supply the Committee with the requested information.

The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee shall be informed of the recommendations of the Cooperation Council.

The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee may make recommendations to the Cooperation Council.