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Euraffex Documenta tion:

Coordina tors wha t is their role and who are the y?


As anyone following th e legislative work of th e European Parliamen t soon discovers, one of th e most importan t
roles in each Commi t t ee is t ha t of th e coordina tors, ye t it is also one of th e hardest roles to find official
informa tion abou t. Unlike t h e Chairs and vice-chairs of th e commi t t ees th ey are for instance no t automa tically
listed on th e websites of th e Commit t ees. To help overcome this, th e Euraffex t ea m has prepared t his brief
explanation of wha t it actually is tha t th e coordinators do as well as a list of all t h e known coordinators 1.

They also play an importan t role in deciding on the


need of commissioning studies or on the set ting up
(and the composition of the panels) of official hearings
and workshops of the committ ee .

In the European Parliament all the committ ees are


built up with a somewhat similar structure: They all
have a Commit t ee Chair and a number of ViceChairs.These are the ones who decide on many formal
procedures and it also them who chair the mee tings
and the votes. The names and roles of these can all be
found on th e official website of the European
Parliament . Behind the scenes however, there is
ano ther very important group in each commit te e ,
these are calles the Coordinators. They are so called
because they are coordinating not only the work of
their political group in the Commit tee but also to some
extent the work of th e Committee itself.

In fulfilling their roles the coordinators are of course


expected to represent the views of their political
groups, but in reality much of th e decision is t aken by
the coordinators alone. Even if decisions are later
discussed with the group members, it is often after a
decision has been t aken. This of course makes the
coordinators interesting for anyone hoping to
understand or to influence the parliamentary work on
a given subject

For most people outside the Parliament they are


maybe best known for their role in distributing reports
and opinions, first between th e political groups and
later amongst members of their own group.

Unlike the Chairs and vice-Chairs that are formally


voted upon by the entire committ ee . Instead they are
chosen by either their political group as such or by the
committ ee members from the political group.

Together with the Commit t e e Chair it is also the


Coordina tors who decide if th e Committ ee wishes do
draw up an opinion to a report in another Committ ee .
If a Committe e decides on producing an opinion, the
rapporteurship of this opinion is distributed in th e
same way as the reports (that is, by the coordinators).
In much the same way the coordinators can further
decide to draw up a so-called own-initiative report on
a subject .

Coordina tor mee tings are normally held as closed


mee tings during each Committe e week. However,
should the need arise the chairman of the Committ ee
can invite the coordinators to an extraordinary
coordinators' mee ting. These can either take place
during the plenary sessions in Strasbourg or during one
of th e group weeks. This can be need ed if some thing
urgent has occurred or if the coordinators did not
manage to get through their complete agenda a t the
regular coordinators' mee ting and one or more topics
cannot be postponed till the next ordinary
coordinators' mee ting.

It is the coordinators that often express the general


view of their respective groups when the Committ ee is
having hearings of for instance Commissioners or
agencies, just like it is the coordinators who will
debate and recommend the approval (or rej ec tion) of
candidates for the European Commission and the
agencies.

On the next page you can find a list of all known


coordinators (per July 2014).

1 Please not e tha t there are still a few unknown committe es for which the GUE-Group has not yet appointed coordinators.
When it comes to the ECR-group in some committ ees the coordinators are only acting coordinators and these will either be confirmed or
changed in September.

Please note that a D: in front of a name means that it is the deputy coordinator