At the invitation of the Czech Republic, Switzerland’s EFTA/EU Delegation will be taking part in the plenary session of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs (COSAC) in Prague from 13 to 15 November.

The COSAC plenary meeting will be hosted by the Czech Republic, which is presiding over the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2022. The first day of the conference will focus on the main developments under the Czech Republic’s presidency, and on the future and strategic autonomy of the EU.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (via video), First Vice-President of the European Parliament Othmar Karas, Vice-President of the European Commission Věra Jourová and Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič will all give speeches at the conference. Talks will focus on the impact that the Russian war on Ukraine, the energy crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have had on the EU, and on the EU’s resilience in the face of these challenges. The results of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which presented its final report in May 2022, will also be discussed. In this context, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in June 2022 calling for a convention to revise existing EU treaties, among other things.

With a view to strengthening the EU’s strategic autonomy and against the backdrop of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, conference participants will also discuss approaches to reduce the EU’s dependencies in strategically important areas. These areas include critical raw materials, technologies, energy supply, as well as defence and security.

The second day of the conference will focus on the EU’s continued financial, economic and security support to Ukraine and the country’s reconstruction strategy. The prospects of the Western Balkan states, Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia of joining the EU will also be discussed.

COSAC was founded in 1989 and has served as a platform for intensifying interparliamentary dialogue since it was formally recognised in the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997. Switzerland was given observer status and has been attending the COSAC meetings since 2015; meetings take place four times a year.

National Councillors Eric Nussbaumer (SP, BL) and Hans-Peter Portmann (FDP, ZH) will be representing the EFTA/EU Delegation at the COSAC plenary meeting in Prague.