The European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD)
Since it was first established at the request of the speakers of European Parliamentary Assemblies in June 1977, the European Centre for Parliamentary Research & Documentation (ECPRD) has been a useful tool for inter-parliamentary cooperation and information exchange.
Comparative requests, seminars and surveys by individual parliaments on particular topics offer all those involved the chance to work together.
The advent of the internet has made the Centre more accessible than ever.
The Centre's aims
- The data generated by the Centre’s members is extensive and specific information can be hard to track down. Bringing together the information, facilitating the exchange of ideas and making the retrieval of data and the circulation of studies easier is the Centre’s role.
- The ECPRD acts as a channel for requests for information whenever one parliament would like to know more about practice and policy in other countries.
- The most recent subjects include intellectual property rights, ratification procedures for the new EU treaty and support for families with disabled or chronically ill children.
- 72 Parliaments (including both houses in bi-cameral parliaments),
- the European Parliament,
- the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,
- the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU),
The Centre's services may also be used by countries having observer status in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:
Israel (Knesset), Canada (House of Commons and Senate), Mexico (Senado and Camara de Dipudados), the United States of America (which has observer status in the ECPRD).
Areas of Interests
The ECPRD hosts four Areas of Interests for mutualinformation and knowledge sharing on the following subjects
• Information and CommunicationTechnology in Parliaments.
• Parliamentary Practice and Procedure.
• Parliamentary Libraries, Research andArchives.
• Macro-Economic Research.
Each Area of Interest is managed by a Coordinator.
Three groups make up the ECPRD’s governing structure:
- two co-directors, each of whom assisted by a co-secretary;
- the Conference of Correspondents ;
- the Executive Committee.
The co-directors, appointed by the Secretary-General of the European Parliament and of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, are responsible for organising all the Centre’s activities.
The Secretary-General of each member parliament selects a senior official to be a representative at the annual Conference of Correspondents. Acting as a link between the Centre and their own parliament, these officials take part in determining the Centre’s programme.
The Executive Committee is made up of the two directors who are joined by five people elected from and by the Conference. Each year one (or two) is replaced. This brings a fresh approach without sacrificing continuity. Their job is to lay the ground work for the annual Conference of Correspondents and to keep up the impetus on the Centre’s work.
A completely refurbished website, located and managed at the European Parliament in Brussels, was finalised in 2008 to cope better with the growing number of comparative requests. The refurbishment also provided new methods of interaction between ECPRD members in form of specialised ‘Areas of Interests’ and discussion fora.
The ECPRD Website covers:
• Comparative requests
• Conferences and Seminars
• Publications and Studies
• Areas of Interests and Discussion fora
• The ECPRD directory
• Latest News