On 23 and 24 April, National Council president Dominique de Buman (CVP, FR) and the second vice president of the Council of States, Géraldine Savary (SP, VD), will be in Tallinn for a conference of speakers from the national parliaments of European Union (EU) member states, candidate countries and third countries, in particular of EFTA/EEA countries.

​At the invitation of Mr Eiki Nestor, the President of the Riigikogu, the Estonian parliament, the speakers of the first and second chambers of EU national parliaments will gather in Tallinn to debate two key themes: the future of the European Union and European security and defence policy. In addition to the national parliaments, the European Parliament will also be represented at the conference by its president, Antonio Tajani.

During the discussion on the future of the EU, the parliamentary speakers will have the possibility to exchange views, amongst others, with the President of the French National Assembly, François de Rugy, about the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and developments regarding the Brexit negotiations. Keynote speakers on the second key theme of European security and defence policy, include the President of the German Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, and the President of the Austrian National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka. The focus here will be on current security policy challenges facing Europe and cooperation among European states on defence policy.

The format of a gathering for speakers of national parliaments was established in 1963. The event is organised by the country that hosted the EU Council presidency in the second semester of the previous year, which in this case was Estonia. The aim of the gathering is to provide parliamentary speakers with the opportunity to exchange opinions, information and best practices on topics related to the role of parliaments and organisation of parliamentary functions. Switzerland last took part in the conference in 2016.