Events / Webinars

More than just ‘talking shops’? The role of international inter-parliamentary assemblies

7 Feb 2023
Plenary sitting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on 21 November, 2022. ©NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Plenary sitting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on 21 November, 2022. ©NATO Parliamentary Assembly

The creation of the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly in 2022 threw a fresh spotlight on the UK Parliament’s participation in such international inter-parliamentary bodies. What do they do? Do they add value? And what is the role at Westminster of the UK assembly Delegations? Watch leading Delegation Members discuss these questions and more.

[CLOSED] 7 February 2023 Webinar

Video recording of the webinar: More than just ‘talking shops’? The role of international inter-parliamentary assemblies. Recorded on 7 February 2023.

The creation of the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) in 2022 saw the UK Parliament becoming a member of its first new international inter-parliamentary assembly for 30 years. This fresh spotlight showed that the UK Delegations to such bodies are among Parliament’s least visible aspects.

This free webinar brought together leading Members of UK Delegations to discuss what the Delegations do, how they work, and whether the arrangements at Westminster that surround them need reform.

In November 2022, Politico’s influential ‘London Playbook’ newsletter sarcastically called the PPA “absolutely, definitely not a talking shop”.

  • Are international inter-parliamentary assemblies more than ‘talking shops’, and their meetings anything other than ‘foreign jollies’?

  • Do international inter-parliamentary bodies add value to international affairs, and, if so, what and how?

At Westminster, with arrangements around the Delegations’ appointment and operation uncodified, the creation of the Delegation to the PPA has been based largely on precedent.

  • What is the status of the international inter-parliamentary Delegations at Westminster? Who do they represent?

  • Where do the Delegations fit in the scrutiny of the UK Government’s actions in international organisations? How do – or should – they relate to Select Committees?

  • Do arrangements for the Delegations need reform? In particular, should the Delegations formally be appointed by Parliament rather than the Government, as suggested by the Commons’ Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) in 2016?

Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald KC MP / @OliverHealdUK Leader, UK Delegation to the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA)

Lord Peter Ricketts GCMG GCVO / @LordRickettsP Member, UK Delegation to the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA); former UK Permanent Representative to NATO, Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service, National Security Adviser, and HM Ambassador to France

Rt Hon Alec Shelbrooke MP / @AlecShelbrooke Leader, UK Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) Chair: Cristina Leston-Bandeira Professor of Politics, University of Leeds; Chair, International Parliament Engagement Network (IPEN); Hansard Society member and past Co-Editor of the Hansard Society journal, Parliamentary Affairs; past Chair of the UK Study of Parliament Group (SPG)

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