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Deutscher Bundestag
Parliamentary bodies dealing with international trade :
Committee on the Economy and Labour

Type of parliamentary body Multifunctional
Nature Permanent
Related to chambers Deutscher Bundestag
Date of creation 6 November 2002
Last renewal date
Mandate The Committee, as a preliminary decision-making body for the German Parliament, is responsible first and foremost for the following policy areas: economic policy, competition policy, labour market policy, unemployment insurance, labour law, worker safety and health, trade, industry, post, telecommunications, the skilled crafts and trade sector, SME policy, energy policy, and European economic and employment policy. The Committee has jurisdiction with regard to all legislation in the area of international trade policy - in particular legislation involving the ratification or implementation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements - and regularly holds expert discussions and hearings in this connection. Parliamentary decisions are based on recommendations issued by the Committee. In the framework of its role as a parliamentary body responsible for monitoring the activities of the Executive, the Committee regularly receives reports on the status of negotiations on or implementation of agreements, for instance with regard to WTO negotiations and agreements.
Membership The Committee is composed of 42 titular members and 42 substitute members. The members and their substitutes are appointed by their respective parliamentary groups for the duration of a given legislative term. Like all other parliamentary committees in the German Bundestag, the Committee is constituted at the beginning of a legislative term for the duration of that term.
Working methods All draft legislation and motions that fall within its area of responsibility are referred to the Committee as a preliminary decision-making body for Parliament. The Committee formulates a recommendation based on the results of its deliberations with regard to the legislation in question as well as a report to Parliament. These constitute the basis for further deliberations in Parliament. The meetings of the Committee are, for the most part, not public. However, the Committee does hold public hearings in which outside experts are heard. The Committee has the right to deal on its own initiative with issues that fall within its area of competence. To this end it can, for instance, question representatives of the Executive on the status of consultations and negotiations in the WTO framework or invite representatives of international organizations to take part in informative talks. Minutes are kept of these consultations. If one of the parliamentary groups represented on the Committee feels that there is a need to take legislative action on the basis of such talks, the group in question submits a corresponding motion or bill to Parliament, which is then referred to the Committee for a formal response.
Relations with other parliamentary bodies All draft bills and motions on international trade policy as well as related government reports are referred to the Committee for its deliberation and comment. Additional committees affected by the subject matter of the legislation in question are also involved in the deliberation process. In the case of the WTO this includes the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Committee on European Union Affairs, the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. These committees refer their position statements on WTO matters to the Committee on the Economy and Labour which, in turn, incorporates them into its own position statements and reports to Parliament.
Relations with external bodies Representatives of the executive Government are present at all meetings of the Committee and are available to provide information. The Committee submits frequent requests to the Executive for written or oral reports on a wide range of issues which are then discussed in Committee with representatives of Government. Representatives of civil society are involved in meetings and hearings to which they are invited as experts. For many years now it has been normal practice in relations between Parliament and the Cabinet for members of Parliament, in particular members of the Committee on the Economy and Labour, to be invited to be part of the German delegation to WTO ministerial conferences. It was the case for the ministerial conference in Hong Kong in December 2005.
Subjects dealt with The following subjects have been dealt with by the Committee: motion submitted by the CDU/CSU Group: "For a higher level of liberalization in world trade in services - moving the GATS negotiations forward expeditiously"; motion submitted by the FDP Group: "International legal security and transparent rules for trade in services: moving the GATS negotiations forward"; Draft Eleventh Law Amending the Foreign Trade Act and the Foreign Trade Regulation.
Main address Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
Phone +49 30 227 37315
Fax +49 30 227 36030
Name Mr. Rainer Wend
Notes Chairman of the Committee on the Economy and Labour
Address (if different from above) Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
Phone +49 30 227 73131
Fax +49 30 227 76130
E-mail rainer.wend@bundestag.de
Website http://www.rainer-wend.de
Address (if different from above) Arndtstrasse 6-8, 33602 Bielefeld
Phone +49 521 172969
Fax +49 521 177642
E-mail rainer.wend@wk.bundestag.de
Name Mr. Alexander Dobrindt
Notes Deputy Chairman of the Committee on the Economy and Labour
Address (if different from above) Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
Phone +49 227 75498
Fax +49 227 76192
E-mail alexander.dobrindt@bundestag.de
Website http://www.alexander-dobrindt.de
Address (if different from above) Bergwerkstrasse 14, 82380 Peißenberg
Phone +49 08 803 498049
Fax +49 08 803 498236
E-mail alexander.dobrindt@wk.bundestag.de
Name Mr. Martin Frey
Notes "Ministerialrat"
Address (if different from above) Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
Phone +49 30 227 37315 // +49 30 227-32487
Fax +49 30 227 36030
E-mail martin.frey@bundestag.de
web site:
Name Mr. Matthias Michalke
Notes "Regierungsdirektor"
Address (if different from above) Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
Phone +49 30 227 34988 / +49 30 227 32487
Fax +49 30 227 36030
E-mail matthias.michalke@bundestag.de
web site:

Information on this page was last updated on 1 September 2005
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