House of CommonsShort guide to procedure and practice

International parliamentary assemblies

Delegations of Members and Peers financed by the two Houses attend four international assemblies: the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU) (which has assumed the sub-title 'the interim European Security and Defence Assembly'), the North Atlantic Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The delegations broadly reflect the party composition of the Commons, and are selected on the basis of consultation by the whips; appointments are announced in a written answer. Delegates to the Council of Europe's Assembly also serve at the WEU. The delegations are serviced by the European Section of the Overseas Office.

The UK branches of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) have their own secretariats based in the Palace of Westminster, which provide information about the two organisations directly to Members.

Membership of the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body is determined by the Speaker on the basis of recommendations on which the whips are consulted.


Overseas Office, European Section, 3293, 3294.

Inter-Parliamentary Union, 3012.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 5373.

British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body, 6800.

Further information: Members' Handbook, section 4.


© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 14 February 2001