The European Affairs Directorate (PE)
The Members, parliamentary groups and committees of the German Bundestag are supported in their European-policy work by the European Affairs Directorate (PE) within the Bundestag’s administration. This directorate consists of the seven divisions:
Division PE 1: Secretariat of the Committee on European Union Affairs
The Committee on European Affairs plays a prominent role concerning the German Bundestag’s participation in European affairs. The secretariat supports the committee in its work, particularly in terms of organising committee meetings, hearings and trips, and ensures that the committee members are kept informed. In addition, it organises participation by the committee chairperson and members in the biannual COSAC conferences and is involved in a variety of ways in visits by representatives of the EU institutions, parliaments in the other member states and the government.
Division PE 2: Fundamental EU issues, Economic and Monetary Union Issues
Division PE2 is responsible for fundamental issues of European Union affairs, including regarding the Bundestag’s rights of participation, as well as for questions concerning Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The staff in the division provide support for parliamentary deliberations on EU legislative projects for Members, parliamentary groups and committees working on EMU matters. To this end, they analyse EU items, assess their relevance for deliberations, including adherence to the subsidiarity principle, provide specialist advice, draft overviews on specific topics and EU items and advise the committees regarding deadlines in deliberations, the Bundestag’s rights of participation, and decision-making. The division also serves as the secretariat of the German delegation to the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (Conference on SECG), as well as the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly.
Division PE 3: Analysis, Prioritisation and Advice on EU Affairs
Division PE 3 is responsible for analysis and specialist support on EU matters within the remits of 21 committees. The division’s staff support Members of the Bundestag, parliamentary groups and committees in parliamentary deliberations on EU legislative projects. To this end, they analyse EU items, assess their relevance for deliberations, including adherence to the subsidiarity principle, provide specialist advice, draft overviews on specific topics and EU items and advise the committees regarding deadlines in deliberations, the Bundestag’s rights of participation, and decision-making. The division also serves as the secretariat of the German Bundestag’s representation to the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol.
Division PE 4: EU Liaison Office (Brussels)
The German Bundestag’s Liaison Office in Brussels is responsible for monitoring developments at EU level and supports the Bundestag in exercising at an early point its rights of scrutiny of and participation in EU affairs. The staff working there come both from the Bundestag’s administration and from the parliamentary groups and work together under one roof. The division keeps Members, parliamentary groups and committees up to date on political developments and the stage reached in deliberations at EU level, including by means of the “Report from Brussels” which is produced every sitting week. The Liaison Office has a network of ties allowing information to be exchanged with the EU institutionsand the national parliaments in the other EU member states. In addition, PE 4 provides support in organising meetings of the Bundestag committees in Brussels, trips by delegations and interparliamentary meetings, as well as in coordinating visits to the Bundestag by representatives of EU institutions. The division is also the Bundestag’s point of contact for any requests or questions coming from the EU institutions.
Division PE 5: European Affairs Documentation
Division PE is the central unit that receives all EU documents and notifications and also runs the Bundestag’s own EU database EuDoX. The division is responsible for monitoring adherence to the Federal Government’s notification obligations pursuant to the Act on Cooperation between the Federal Government and the German Bundestag in Matters concerning the European Union (EUZBBG), the Responsibility for Integration Act (IntVG) and the ESM Financing Act (ESMFinG). As well as recording, processing and thematically classifying documents in the EuDoX system, PE 5 drafts proposals for the referral of EU itemsto the Bundestag's committees. In addition, it provides information on EU legislative proposals, assists in accessing documents and runs the EuDoX hotline to deal with any questions on the Bundestag’s EU information systems. It is also responsible for matters concerning the interparliamentary IPEX database and represents the Bundestag on the IPEX Board.
Division PE 6: European Affairs Research Section
As the Research Section responsible for European affairs, Section PE 6 is part of the Bundestag’s Research Services and supports the Members of the Bundestag in exercising their mandate by providing on request (legal) expert opinions on European Union affairs. Its work includes answering requests for information from Members across the whole spectrum of European law and policy. Amongst other things, the staff analyse rulings by the European Court of Justice, assess the conformity of national and European legislative projects with European law and answer enquiries concerning individual measures and initiatives at EU level. Furthermore, the Research Section pro-actively publishes information on topical issues of European law and policy.
Division PE RP: EU Council Presidency Organisational Task Force
The EU Council Presidency Organisational Task Force coordinates all the organisational tasks at the Bundestag connected with the parliamentary dimension of the German Council Presidency in 2020; particularly the preparation and running of the interparliamentary conferences, events and meetings due to take place in this context. This includes coordinating topics, dates and details of the conferences, choosing appropriate rooms and hotels and organising catering, evening receptions and the cultural programme. PE RP also develops public-relations concepts for the parliamentary dimension of Germany’s Council Presidency. Alongside traditional products like brochures and information stands, this also includes the webpage and social media channels.