National Parliament Office
32.15In 1998, the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons recommended the establishment of a National Parliament Office (NPO) in Brussels,1 the prime purpose of which ‘must be to act as a forward observation post for the House, and to act as the eyes and ears of the European [Scrutiny] Committee acting on the House's behalf’.2
Following the House's agreement to the Committee's report,3 the office was opened in October 1999, with accommodation provided by the European Parliament in Brussels. The House of Lords sent its first representative in 2004, and most Member State, and some non-Member State, parliaments have now established similar arrangements. National Parliament representatives meet regularly to exchange information and best practice.
The NPO regularly assisted select committees and Members on official visits to Brussels.