To schedule a parliamentary delegation, a member must apply to the relevant committee chair, who will contact the appropriate agency to request funds and support for the trip. Various parliaments and legislatures maintain formal or informal groupings, such as congressional caucuses and all-party parliamentary groups, which maintain regular delegations to and from select countries; the European Parliament also maintains a formal delegation system for regular meetings with national and multinational parliaments.
Parliamentary delegations are formed for purposes of solidarity, negotiations, research, and investigation, but they are sometimes a source of controversy and criticism, when seen as junkets.
In the United States
A congressional delegation abroad is not the same as the congressional delegation of a state (or a legislative delegation from a county to a state legislature), which is the entire body of current members elected to both houses of Congress from a specific state.
- "European Parliament - Delegations". European Parliament.
- FP's exclusive guide to Congress's summer junkets (August 6, 2009). Foreign Policy.
- Andrea Stone, Members Of Congress On Rome Junket Funded By Taxpayers (May 24, 2011), Huffington Post.
- Scott Wong, Junket? Maybe not, but Dems attack GOP trips (January 13, 2012). Politico.