Policymaking requires direct lines of communication

The German Bundestag's Liaison Office in Brussels

The German Bundestag's Liaison Office in Brussels (© German Bundestag/Unger)

Everyday life in Germany is increasingly being influenced by decisions taken in Brussels – European affairs are playing a more and more significant role in policymaking at national level. To ensure that it could work proactively regarding European affairs, and that it would be informed about initiatives in Brussels in good time, the Bundestag took a unanimous decision to open a liaison office in Brussels. This direct line of communication between the Bundestag and the European Union has been in place since the start of 2007.

Parliament’s office in Brussels

The Bundestag’s office in Brussels serves as an early-warning system for initiatives and decisions at European level. It is staffed by employees of the Bundestag Administration and the parliamentary groups, and is located in Square de Meeûs in the European district, just a stone’s throw away from the European Parliament. The office provides the Members, committees and parliamentary groups of the German Bundestag with information about current political developments within the institutions of the European Union.

A strengthening of Parliament’s rights

Monitoring, providing early warning and networking – these are the most important tasks of the Liaison Office, enabling the Bundestag to exercise its rights vis-à-vis the Federal Government at an early stage. This is also enshrined in the Basic Law, the German constitution, Article 23 of which requires the Federal Republic of Germany to participate in the development of the European Union with a view to establishing a united Europe. Parliament’s rights vis-à-vis the government were strengthened by the Act on Cooperation between the Federal Government and the German Bundestag in Matters concerning the European Union (EUZBBG), amended in September 2009, and the Responsibility for Integration Act (IntVG).