Why does CPA UK go on overseas delegations and who chooses their locations?
CPA UK believes that the best way to achieve its mission of advancing parliamentary democracy is by enhancing knowledge and understanding through hands on experience. Having parliamentarians meet face-to-face is integral to our programming. We believe that allowing parliamentarians see first-hand the successes and challenges of their international colleagues’ legislatures and the issues affecting their constituents fosters greater international understanding.
We do not pick the countries that delegations travel to, but rather responds to invitations to visit from partner parliaments. The decision to participate in a delegation will depend on the Branch’s annual programme and the annual budget.
How many overseas delegations does CPA UK go on every year?
CPA UK will participate in on average 6-8 delegations per year. The exact number depends on a number of variables including: annual budget, the number of delegates participating and the parliamentary business at hand.
Who takes part in the delegations?
CPA UK makes information about upcoming delegations available on the website, on the all-party whip notices and through our newsletter. To apply, parliamentarians must submit an application form which asks for details about relevant professional experience including committee and all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs) involvement. It also requests that parliamentarians explain why they want to go on the delegation, and how they believe their participation will benefit their parliamentary work.
Once the deadline closes, the application forms are passed to the CPA UK Nomination Committee, a group of members from the Executive Committee, who will evaluate the Members’ forms and make their recommendations. Following this, the applications are given to the Speaker and Lord Speaker who will make the final decision. The process takes on average 4-6 weeks.
How many Members go on a delegation?
Generally, an outward delegation will consist of six parliamentarians, four from the House of Commons and two from the House of Lords. CPA UK also requires that delegations have both a party and gender balance. On occasion, this composition may change depending on the country and programme. For example, parliamentary strengthening delegations may include a Clerk who can add an additional level expertise to the delegation.
At the discretion of CPA UK, the size of the delegation may change depending on Members’ interest.
How much do the delegations cost, and who funds them?
The cost of delegations will vary depending on the number of delegates and flight costs. The cost of flights, visas, and transport to and from UK airports are borne by CPA UK. Within Europe, UK delegates travel economy; elsewhere, delegates will travel either premium economy or business. In-country costs including food, transportation and accommodation, are covered by the host parliament.