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Document 32011Q0505(01)

Rules of Procedure — 7th parliamentary term — March 2011

OJ L 116, 5.5.2011, p. 1–151 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
Special edition in Croatian: Chapter 01 Volume 017 P. 185 - 335

No longer in force, Date of end of validity: 30/06/2014

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/proc_rules/2011/505/oj

5.5.2011   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 116/1


RULES OF PROCEDURE

7th parliamentary term

March 2011

Note to the reader:

In accordance with Parliament’s decisions on the use of gender-neutral language in its documents, the Rules of Procedure have been adapted to take account of the guidelines on that subject approved by the High Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity on 13 February 2008 and endorsed by the Bureau on 19 May 2008.

Interpretations of the Rules (pursuant to Rule 211) are in italic script.

CONTENTS

TITLE I

MEMBERS, PARLIAMENT BODIES AND POLITICAL GROUPS

CHAPTER 1

MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Rule 1

The European Parliament

Rule 2

The independent mandate

Rule 3

Verification of credentials

Rule 4

Term of office of Members

Rule 5

Privileges and immunities

Rule 6

Waiver of immunity

Rule 7

Procedures on immunity

Rule 8

Implementation of the Statute for Members

Rule 9

Members’ financial interests, standards of conduct and access to Parliament

Rule 10

Internal investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Rule 11

Observers

CHAPTER 2

OFFICERS OF PARLIAMENT

Rule 12

Provisional Chair

Rule 13

Nominations and general provisions

Rule 14

Election of President - opening address

Rule 15

Election of Vice-Presidents

Rule 16

Election of Quaestors

Rule 17

Term of office of Officers

Rule 18

Vacancies

Rule 19

Early termination of an office

CHAPTER 3

BODIES AND DUTIES

Rule 20

Duties of the President

Rule 21

Duties of the Vice-Presidents

Rule 22

Composition of the Bureau

Rule 23

Duties of the Bureau

Rule 24

Composition of the Conference of Presidents

Rule 25

Duties of the Conference of Presidents

Rule 26

Duties of the Quaestors

Rule 27

Conference of Committee Chairs

Rule 28

Conference of Delegation Chairs

Rule 29

Accountability of the Bureau and the Conference of Presidents

CHAPTER 4

POLITICAL GROUPS

Rule 30

Formation of political groups

Rule 31

Activities and legal situation of the political groups

Rule 32

Intergroups

Rule 33

Non-attached Members

Rule 34

Allocation of seats in the Chamber

TITLE II

LEGISLATIVE, BUDGETARY AND OTHER PROCEDURES

CHAPTER 1

LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURES - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Rule 35

The Commission Work Programme

Rule 36

Respect for the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Rule 37

Verification of legal basis

Rule 37a

Delegation of legislative powers

Rule 38

Verification of financial compatibility

Rule 38a

Examination of respect for the principle of subsidiarity

Rule 39

Access to documents and provision of information to Parliament

Rule 40

Representation of Parliament in Council meetings

Rule 41

Rights of initiative conferred on Parliament by the Treaties

Rule 42

Initiative pursuant to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Rule 43

Consideration of legislative documents

Rule 44

Legislative procedures on initiatives originating from Member States

CHAPTER 2

PROCEDURE IN COMMITTEE

Rule 45

Legislative reports

Rule 46

Simplified procedure

Rule 47

Non-legislative reports

Rule 48

Own-initiative reports

Rule 49

Opinions of committees

Rule 50

Procedure with associated committees

Rule 51

Procedure with joint committee meetings

Rule 52

Drafting of reports

CHAPTER 3

FIRST READING

Committee stage

Rule 53

Modification of a proposal for a legislative act

Rule 54

Commission and Council position on amendments

Plenary stage

Rule 55

Conclusion of first reading

Rule 56

Rejection of a Commission proposal

Rule 57

Adoption of amendments to a Commission proposal

Follow-up procedure

Rule 58

Follow-up to Parliament’s position

Rule 59

Renewed referral to Parliament

Rule 60

Deleted

CHAPTER 4

SECOND READING

Committee stage

Rule 61

Communication of the Council’s position

Rule 62

Extension of time limits

Rule 63

Referral to and procedure in the committee responsible

Plenary stage

Rule 64

Conclusion of second reading

Rule 65

Rejection of the Council’s position

Rule 66

Amendments to the Council’s position

CHAPTER 5

THIRD READING

Conciliation

Rule 67

Convening of the Conciliation Committee

Rule 68

Delegation to the Conciliation Committee

Plenary stage

Rule 69

Joint text

CHAPTER 6

CONCLUSION OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE

Rule 70

Interinstitutional negotiations in legislative procedures

Rule 71

First-reading agreement

Rule 72

Second-reading agreement

Rule 73

Requirements for the drafting of legislative acts

Rule 74

Signing of adopted acts

CHAPTER 6a

CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS

Rule 74a

Ordinary Treaty revision

Rule 74b

Simplified Treaty revision

Rule 74c

Accession treaties

Rule 74d

Withdrawal from the Union

Rule 74e

Breach by a Member State of fundamental principles

Rule 74f

Composition of Parliament

Rule 74g

Enhanced cooperation between Member States

CHAPTER 7

BUDGETARY PROCEDURES

Rule 75

Multiannual financial framework

Rule 75a

Working documents

Rule 75b

Consideration of the draft budget - first stage

Rule 75c

Financial trialogue

Rule 75d

Budgetary conciliation

Rule 75e

Definitive adoption of the budget

Rule 75f

Provisional twelfths system

Rule 76

Discharge to the Commission in respect of implementation of the budget

Rule 77

Other discharge procedures

Rule 78

Parliamentary control over implementation of the budget

CHAPTER 8

INTERNAL BUDGETARY PROCEDURES

Rule 79

Estimates of Parliament

Rule 79a

Procedure to be applied when drawing up Parliament’s estimates

Rule 80

Power to incur and settle expenditure

CHAPTER 9

CONSENT PROCEDURE

Rule 81

Consent procedure

CHAPTER 10

DELETED

Rule 82

Deleted

CHAPTER 11

OTHER PROCEDURES

Rule 83

Procedure for delivering opinions pursuant to Article 140 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Rule 84

Procedures relating to dialogue between management and labour

Rule 85

Procedures for scrutiny of voluntary agreements

Rule 86

Codification

Rule 87

Recasting

Rule 87a

Delegated acts

Rule 88

Implementing measures

TITLE IIA

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

CHAPTER 12

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS

Rule 89

Deleted

Rule 90

International agreements

Rule 91

Procedures based on Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in the case of the provisional application or suspension of international agreements or the establishment of the Union’s position in a body set up by an international agreement

CHAPTER 13

EXTERNAL REPRESENTATION OF THE UNION AND THE COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY

Rule 92

Deleted

Rule 93

Special representatives

Rule 94

Deleted

Rule 95

International representation

Rule 96

Consultation of, and provision of information to, Parliament within the framework of the common foreign and security policy

Rule 97

Recommendations within the framework of the common foreign and security policy

Rule 98

Breach of human rights

CHAPTER 14

DELETED

Rule 99

Deleted

Rule 100

Deleted

Rule 101

Deleted

CHAPTER 15

DELETED

Rule 102

Deleted

TITLE III

TRANSPARENCY OF BUSINESS

Rule 103

Transparency of Parliament’s activities

Rule 104

Public access to documents

TITLE IV

RELATIONS WITH OTHER BODIES

CHAPTER 1

APPOINTMENTS

Rule 105

Election of the President of the Commission

Rule 106

Election of the Commission

Rule 107

Motion of censure on the Commission

Rule 107a

Nomination of Judges and Advocates-General at the Court of Justice of the European Union

Rule 108

Appointment of the Members of the Court of Auditors

Rule 109

Appointment of the Members of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank

CHAPTER 2

STATEMENTS

Rule 110

Statements by the Commission, Council and European Council

Rule 111

Statements explaining Commission decisions

Rule 112

Statements by the Court of Auditors

Rule 113

Statements by the European Central Bank

Rule 114

Recommendation on the broad guidelines of economic policies

CHAPTER 3

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

Rule 115

Questions for oral answer with debate

Rule 116

Question Time

Rule 117

Questions for written answer

Rule 118

Questions for written answer to the European Central Bank

CHAPTER 4

REPORTS OF OTHER INSTITUTIONS

Rule 119

Annual and other reports of other institutions

CHAPTER 5

RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Rule 120

Motions for resolutions

Rule 121

Recommendations to the Council

Rule 122

Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

Rule 123

Written declarations

Rule 124

Consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee

Rule 125

Consultation of the Committee of the Regions

Rule 126

Requests to European Agencies

CHAPTER 6

INTERINSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENTS

Rule 127

Interinstitutional agreements

CHAPTER 7

REFERRALS TO THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Rule 128

Proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union

Rule 129

Deleted

TITLE V

RELATIONS WITH NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS

Rule 130

Exchange of information, contacts and reciprocal facilities

Rule 131

Conference of European Affairs Committees (COSAC)

Rule 132

Conferences of parliaments

TITLE VI

SESSIONS

CHAPTER 1

SESSIONS OF PARLIAMENT

Rule 133

Parliamentary term, sessions, part-sessions, sittings

Rule 134

Convening of Parliament

Rule 135

Venue of sittings and meetings

Rule 136

Attendance of Members at sittings

CHAPTER 2

ORDER OF BUSINESS OF PARLIAMENT

Rule 137

Draft agenda

Rule 138

Procedure in plenary without amendment and debate

Rule 139

Short presentation

Rule 140

Adopting and amending the agenda

Rule 141

Extraordinary debate

Rule 142

Urgent procedure

Rule 143

Joint debate

Rule 144

Time limits

CHAPTER 3

GENERAL RULES FOR THE CONDUCT OF SITTINGS

Rule 145

Access to the Chamber

Rule 146

Languages

Rule 147

Transitional arrangement

Rule 148

Distribution of documents

Rule 149

Allocation of speaking time and list of speakers

Rule 150

One-minute speeches

Rule 151

Personal statements

CHAPTER 4

MEASURES TO BE TAKEN IN THE EVENT OF NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT OF MEMBERS

Rule 152

Immediate measures

Rule 153

Penalties

Rule 154

Internal appeal procedures

CHAPTER 5

QUORUM AND VOTING

Rule 155

Quorum

Rule 156

Tabling and moving amendments

Rule 157

Admissibility of amendments

Rule 158

Voting procedure

Rule 159

Tied votes

Rule 160

Principles governing voting

Rule 161

Order of voting on amendments

Rule 162

Committee consideration of plenary amendments

Rule 163

Split voting

Rule 164

Right to vote

Rule 165

Voting

Rule 166

Final vote

Rule 167

Voting by roll call

Rule 168

Electronic voting

Rule 169

Voting by secret ballot

Rule 170

Explanations of vote

Rule 171

Disputes on voting

CHAPTER 6

INTERRUPTIVE AND PROCEDURAL MOTIONS

Rule 172

Procedural motions

Rule 173

Points of order

Rule 174

Moving the inadmissibility of a matter

Rule 175

Referral back to committee

Rule 176

Closure of a debate

Rule 177

Adjournment of a debate and vote

Rule 178

Suspension or closure of the sitting

CHAPTER 7

PUBLIC RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Rule 179

Minutes

Rule 180

Texts adopted

Rule 181

Verbatim reports

Rule 182

Audiovisual record of proceedings

TITLE VII

COMMITTEES AND DELEGATIONS

CHAPTER 1

COMMITTEES - SETTING-UP AND POWERS

Rule 183

Setting-up of standing committees

Rule 184

Setting-up of special committees

Rule 185

Committees of inquiry

Rule 186

Composition of committees

Rule 187

Substitutes

Rule 188

Duties of committees

Rule 189

Committee responsible for the verification of credentials

Rule 190

Subcommittees

Rule 191

Committee bureaux

Rule 192

Committee coordinators and shadow rapporteurs

CHAPTER 2

COMMITTEES - FUNCTIONING

Rule 193

Committee meetings

Rule 194

Minutes of committee meetings

Rule 195

Voting in committee

Rule 196

Provisions concerning plenary sittings applicable in committee

Rule 197

Question Time in committee

CHAPTER 3

INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATIONS

Rule 198

Setting-up and duties of interparliamentary delegations

Rule 199

Cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Rule 200

Joint parliamentary committees

TITLE VIII

PETITIONS

Rule 201

Right of petition

Rule 202

Examination of petitions

Rule 203

Notice of petitions

TITLE IX

OMBUDSMAN

Rule 204

Election of the Ombudsman

Rule 205

Activities of the Ombudsman

Rule 206

Dismissal of the Ombudsman

TITLE X

PARLIAMENT’S SECRETARIAT

Rule 207

Secretariat

TITLE XI

POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES RELATING TO POLITICAL PARTIES AT EUROPEAN LEVEL

Rule 208

Powers and responsibilities of the President

Rule 209

Powers and responsibilities of the Bureau

Rule 210

Powers and responsibilities of the committee responsible and of Parliament’s plenary

TITLE XII

APPLICATION AND AMENDMENT OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE

Rule 211

Application of the Rules of Procedure

Rule 212

Amendment of the Rules of Procedure

TITLE XIII

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Rule 213

The symbols of the Union

Rule 214

Unfinished business

Rule 215

Arrangement of annexes

Rule 216

Corrigenda

ANNEX I

Provisions governing the application of Rule 9(1) - Transparency and Members’ financial interests

ANNEX II

Conduct of Question Time under Rule 116

ANNEX III

Guidelines for questions for written answer under Rules 117 and 118

ANNEX IV

Guidelines and general principles to be followed when choosing the subjects to be included on the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law provided for under Rule 122

ANNEX V

Deleted

ANNEX VI

Procedure for the consideration and adoption of decisions on the granting of discharge

ANNEX VII

Powers and responsibilities of standing committees

ANNEX VIII

Confidential and sensitive documents and information

ANNEX IX

Detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament’s right of inquiry

ANNEX X

Provisions governing the application of Rule 9(4) - Lobbying in Parliament

ANNEX XI

Performance of the Ombudsman’s duties

ANNEX XII

Prevention of fraud, corruption and any illegal activity detrimental to the Communities’ interests

ANNEX XIII

Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission on procedures for implementing Council Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC

ANNEX XIV

Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission

ANNEX XV

Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 on public access to documents

ANNEX XVI

Guidelines for the interpretation of the standards of conduct of Members

ANNEX XVII

Guidelines for the approval of the Commission

ANNEX XVIII

Procedure for granting authorisation to draw up own-initiative reports

ANNEX XIX

Communicating Europe in partnership

ANNEX XX

Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 13 June 2007 on practical arrangements for the codecision procedure (Article 251 of the EC Treaty)

ANNEX XXI

Code of conduct for negotiating in the context of the ordinary legislative procedures

TITLE I

MEMBERS, PARLIAMENT BODIES AND POLITICAL GROUPS

CHAPTER 1

Members of the European Parliament

Rule 1

The European Parliament

1.

The European Parliament is the assembly elected pursuant to the Treaties, the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage and national legislation deriving from the Treaties.

2.

Persons elected to the European Parliament shall be referred to as:

 

‘Членове на Европейския парламент’ in Bulgarian,

 

‘Diputados al Parlamento Europeo’ in Spanish,

 

‘Poslanci Evropského parlamentu’ in Czech,

 

‘Medlemmer af Europa-Parlamentet’ in Danish,

 

‘Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments’ in German,

 

‘Euroopa Parlamendi liikmed’ in Estonian,

 

‘Βoυλευτές τoυ Ευρωπαϊκoύ Κoιvoβoυλίoυ’ in Greek,

 

‘Members of the European Parliament’ in English,

 

‘Députés au Parlement européen’ in French,

 

‘Feisirí de Pharlaimint na hEorpa’ in Irish,

 

‘Deputati al Parlamento europeo’ in Italian,

 

‘Eiropas Parlamenta deputāti’ in Latvian,

 

‘Europos Parlamento nariai’ in Lithuanian,

 

‘Európai Parlamenti Képviselők’ in Hungarian,

 

‘Membri tal-Parlament Ewropew’ in Maltese,

 

‘Leden van het Europees Parlement’ in Dutch,

 

‘Posłowie do Parlamentu Europejskiego’ in Polish,

 

‘Deputados ao Parlamento Europeu’ in Portuguese,

 

‘Deputați în Parlamentul European’ in Romanian,

 

‘Poslanci Európskeho parlamentu’ in Slovak,

 

‘Poslanci Evropskega parlamenta’ in Slovenian,

 

‘Euroopan parlamentin jäsenet’ in Finnish,

 

‘Ledamöter av Europaparlamentet’ in Swedish.

Rule 2

The independent mandate

Members of the European Parliament shall exercise their mandate independently. They shall not be bound by any instructions and shall not receive a binding mandate.

Rule 3

Verification of credentials

1.

Following elections to the European Parliament, the President shall invite the competent authorities of the Member States to notify Parliament without delay of the names of the elected Members so that all Members may take their seats in Parliament with effect from the opening of the first sitting following the elections.

At the same time, the President shall draw the attention of those authorities to the relevant provisions of the Act of 20 September 1976 and invite them to take the necessary measures to avoid any incompatibility with the office of Member of the European Parliament.

2.

Members whose election has been notified to Parliament shall declare in writing, before taking their seat in Parliament, that they do not hold any office incompatible with that of Member of the European Parliament within the meaning of Article 7(1) or (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976. Following general elections, the declaration shall be made, where possible, no later than 6 days prior to Parliament’s constitutive sitting. Until such time as Members’ credentials have been verified or a ruling has been given on any dispute, and provided that they have previously signed the abovementioned written declaration, they shall take their seat in Parliament and on its bodies and shall enjoy all the rights attaching thereto.

Where it is established from facts verifiable from sources available to the public that a Member holds an office incompatible with that of Member of the European Parliament, within the meaning of Article 7(1) and (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976, Parliament, on the basis of the information provided by its President, shall establish that there is a vacancy.

3.

On the basis of a report by the committee responsible for the verification of credentials, Parliament shall verify credentials without delay and rule on the validity of the mandate of each of its newly elected Members and also on any dispute referred to it pursuant to the provisions of the Act of 20 September 1976, except those based on national electoral laws.

4.

The committee’s report shall be based on the official notification by each Member State of the full results of the election specifying the names of the candidates elected and those of any substitutes together with their ranking in accordance with the results of the vote.

The validity of the mandate of a Member may not be confirmed unless the written declarations required under this Rule and Annex I to these Rules have been made.

On the basis of a report by the committee, Parliament may at any time rule on any dispute as to the validity of the mandate of any of its Members.

5.

Where the appointment of a Member is due to the withdrawal of candidates from the same list, the committee shall ensure that the withdrawals in question have taken place in accordance with the spirit and the letter of the Act of 20 September 1976 and Rule 4(3).

6.

The committee shall ensure that any information which may affect the performance of the duties of a Member of the European Parliament or the ranking of the substitutes is forwarded to Parliament without delay by the authorities of the Member States or of the Union, with an indication of the date of effect in the case of an appointment.

Should the competent authorities of the Member States initiate a procedure which might lead to the disqualification of a Member from holding office, the President shall ask them to keep him regularly informed of the stage reached in the procedure and shall refer the matter to the committee responsible. On a proposal from that committee, Parliament may adopt a position on the matter.

Rule 4

Term of office of Members

1.

A Member’s term of office shall begin and end as laid down in the Act of 20 September 1976. It shall also end on death or resignation.

2.

Every Member shall remain in office until the opening of the first sitting of Parliament following the elections.

3.

Members who resign shall notify the President of their resignation and of the date on which that resignation is to take effect, which may not be more than 3 months after notification. This notification shall take the form of an official record drawn up in the presence of the Secretary-General or his representative, signed by the latter and by the Member concerned and immediately submitted to the committee responsible, which shall enter it on the agenda of its first meeting following receipt of the document.

If the committee responsible considers that the resignation is not in accordance with the spirit or the letter of the Act of 20 September 1976 it shall inform Parliament to this effect so that Parliament can decide whether or not to establish the vacancy.

Otherwise, the vacancy shall be established with effect from the date indicated by the resigning Member in the official record. There shall be no vote in Parliament on the subject.

A simplified procedure has been introduced for certain exceptional circumstances, in particular where one or more part-sessions are held between the effective date of the resignation and the first meeting of the committee responsible and where, as the vacancy has not been established, the political group to which the resigning Member belongs is not able to obtain a replacement Member during those part-sessions. Under this procedure, the rapporteur of the committee responsible entrusted with these cases has the power to examine immediately any resignation duly notified and, where any delay in considering the notification would be prejudicial, to refer the matter to the committee chair, requesting, pursuant to paragraph 3:

either that the President be informed on behalf of the committee that the vacancy may be established, or

that an extraordinary meeting of the committee be convened to examine any specific difficulties noted by the rapporteur.

4.

Where the competent authority of a Member State notifies the President of the end of the term of office of a Member of the European Parliament pursuant to the provisions of the law of that Member State, as a result either of incompatibilities within the meaning of Article 7(3) of the Act of 20 September 1976 or withdrawal of the mandate pursuant to Article 13(3) of that Act, the President shall inform Parliament that the mandate ended on the date communicated by the Member State and shall invite the Member State to fill the vacant seat without delay.

Where the competent authorities of the Member States or of the Union or the Member concerned notify the President of an appointment or election to an office incompatible with the office of Member of the European Parliament within the meaning of Article 7(1) or (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976, the President shall inform Parliament, which shall establish that there is a vacancy.

5.

The authorities of the Member States or of the Union shall inform the President of any assignment they intend to confer on a Member. The President shall refer to the committee responsible the question of the compatibility of the proposed assignment with the letter and the spirit of the Act of 20 September 1976 and shall inform Parliament, the Member and the authorities concerned of the conclusions reached by that committee.

6.

The following shall be considered as the date of the end of the term of office and the effective date of a vacancy:

in the case of resignation: the date on which the vacancy is established by Parliament, in accordance with the notification of resignation,

in the case of appointment or election to an office incompatible with the office of Member of the European Parliament within the meaning of Article 7(1) or (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976: the date notified by the competent authorities of the Member States or of the Union or by the Member concerned.

7.

When Parliament has established that a vacancy exists, it shall inform the Member State concerned and invite it to fill the seat without delay.

8.

Any dispute concerning the validity of the appointment of a Member whose credentials have already been verified shall be referred to the committee responsible, which shall report to Parliament without delay and no later than the beginning of the next part-session.

9.

Parliament shall reserve the right, where acceptance or termination of office appears to be based on material inaccuracy or vitiated consent, to declare the appointment under consideration to be invalid or refuse to establish the vacancy.

Rule 5

Privileges and immunities

1.

Members shall enjoy privileges and immunities in accordance with the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union.

2.

Passes allowing Members to circulate freely in the Member States shall be issued to them by the President of Parliament as soon as he has been notified of their election.

3.

Members shall be entitled to inspect any files held by Parliament or a committee, other than personal files and accounts which only the Members concerned shall be allowed to inspect. Exceptions to this rule for the handling of documents to which public access may be refused pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents are laid down in Annex VIII to these Rules of Procedure.

Rule 6

Waiver of immunity

1.

In the exercise of its powers in respect of privileges and immunities, Parliament shall seek primarily to uphold its integrity as a democratic legislative assembly and to secure the independence of its Members in the performance of their duties.

2.

Any request addressed to the President by a competent authority of a Member State that the immunity of a Member be waived shall be announced in Parliament and referred to the committee responsible.

3.

Any request addressed to the President by a Member or a former Member to defend privileges and immunities shall be announced in Parliament and referred to the committee responsible.

The Member or former Member may be represented by another Member. The request may not be made by another Member without the agreement of the Member concerned.

4.

As a matter of urgency, in circumstances where Members are arrested or have their freedom of movement curtailed in apparent breach of their privileges and immunities, the President, after having consulted the chair and rapporteur of the committee responsible, may take an initiative to assert the privileges and immunities of the Member concerned. The President shall notify the committee of that initiative and inform Parliament.

Rule 7

Procedures on immunity

1.

The committee responsible shall consider without delay and in the order in which they have been submitted requests for the waiver of immunity or requests for the defence of immunity and privileges.

2.

The committee shall make a proposal for a reasoned decision which recommends the adoption or rejection of the request for the waiver of immunity or for the defence of immunity and privileges.

3.

The committee may ask the authority concerned to provide any information or explanation which the committee deems necessary in order for it to form an opinion on whether immunity should be waived or defended. The Member concerned shall be given an opportunity to be heard, may present any documents or other written evidence deemed by that Member to be relevant and may be represented by another Member.

4.

Where the request seeks the waiver of immunity on several counts, each of these may be the subject of a separate decision. The committee’s report may, exceptionally, propose that the waiver of immunity should apply solely to prosecution proceedings and that, until a final sentence is passed, the Member should be immune from any form of detention or remand or any other measure which prevents that Member from performing the duties proper to the mandate.

5.

Where Members are required to appear as witnesses or expert witnesses, there is no need to request a waiver of immunity, provided:

that they will not be obliged to appear on a date or at a time which prevents them from performing, or makes it difficult for them to perform, their parliamentary duties, or that they will be able to provide a statement in writing or in any other form which does not make it difficult for them to fulfil their parliamentary duties,

that they are not obliged to testify concerning information obtained confidentially in the exercise of their mandate which they do not see fit to disclose.

6.

In cases concerning the defence of immunity or privileges, the committee shall state whether the circumstances constitute an administrative or other restriction imposed on the free movement of Members travelling to or from the place of meeting of Parliament or an opinion expressed or a vote cast in the performance of the mandate or fall within aspects of Article 10 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities which are not a matter of national law, and shall make a proposal to invite the authority concerned to draw the necessary conclusions.

7.

The committee may offer a reasoned opinion as to the competence of the authority in question and the admissibility of the request, but shall not, under any circumstances, pronounce on the guilt or otherwise of the Member nor on whether or not the opinions or acts attributed to him or her justify prosecution, even if, in considering the request, it acquires detailed knowledge of the facts of the case.

8.

The committee’s report shall be placed at the head of the agenda of the first sitting following the day on which it was tabled. No amendments may be tabled to the proposal(s) for a decision.

Discussion shall be confined to the reasons for and against each proposal to waive or uphold immunity, or to defend immunity or a privilege.

Without prejudice to Rule 151, the Member whose privileges or immunities are under consideration shall not speak in the debate.

The proposal(s) for a decision contained in the report shall be put to the vote at the first voting time following the debate.

After Parliament has considered the matter, a separate vote shall be taken on each of the proposals contained in the report. If a proposal is rejected, the contrary decision shall be deemed adopted.

9.

The President shall immediately communicate Parliament’s decision to the Member concerned and to the competent authority of the Member State concerned, with a request that the President be informed of any developments in the relevant proceedings and of any judicial rulings made as a consequence. When the President receives this information, he shall transmit it to Parliament in the way he considers most appropriate, if necessary after consulting the committee responsible.

10.

When the President makes use of the powers conferred on him by Rule 6(4), the committee responsible shall take cognisance of the President’s initiative at its next meeting. Where the committee deems it necessary it may prepare a report for submission to Parliament.

11.

The committee shall treat these matters and handle any documents received with the utmost confidentiality.

12.

The committee, after consulting the Member States, may draw up an indicative list of the authorities of the Member States which are competent to present a request for the waiver of a Member’s immunity.

13.

Any inquiry as to the scope of Members’ privileges or immunities made by a competent authority shall be dealt with in accordance with the above rules.

Rule 8

Implementation of the Statute for Members

Parliament shall adopt the Statute for Members of the European Parliament and any modification thereof on the basis of a proposal by the committee responsible. Rule 138(1) shall apply mutatis mutandis. The Bureau shall be responsible for the application of these rules and shall decide on the financial envelopes on the basis of the annual budget.

Rule 9

Members’ financial interests, standards of conduct and access to Parliament

1.

Parliament shall lay down rules governing the transparency of its Members’ financial interests, which shall be attached to these Rules of Procedure as an annex (1).

Those rules shall not in any way prejudice or restrict Members in the exercise of their office or of any related political or other activity.

2.

Members’ conduct shall be characterised by mutual respect, be based on the values and principles laid down in the basic texts on which the European Union is founded, respect the dignity of Parliament and not compromise the smooth conduct of parliamentary business or disturb the peace and quiet of any of Parliament’s premises. Members shall comply with Parliament’s rules on the treatment of confidential information.

Failure to comply with those standards and rules may lead to application of measures in accordance with Rules 152, 153 and 154.

3.

The application of this Rule shall in no way detract from the liveliness of parliamentary debates nor undermine Members’ freedom of speech.

It shall be based on full respect for Members’ prerogatives, as laid down in primary law and the Statute for Members.

It shall be based on the principle of transparency and be so undertaken that the relevant provisions are made clear to Members, who shall be informed individually of their rights and obligations.

4.

The Quaestors shall be responsible for issuing nominative passes valid for a maximum of 1 year to persons who wish to enter Parliament’s premises frequently in order to supply information to Members within the framework of their parliamentary mandate in their own interests or those of third parties.

In return, those persons shall be required to:

respect the code of conduct published as an annex to these Rules of Procedure (2),

sign a register kept by the Quaestors.

That register shall be made available to the public on request in all of Parliament’s places of work and, in the form laid down by the Quaestors, in its information offices in the Member States.

The provisions governing the application of this paragraph shall be laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure (3).

5.

The code of conduct and the rights and privileges of former Members shall be laid down by a decision of the Bureau. No distinction shall be made in the treatment of former Members.

Rule 10

Internal investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

The common rules laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 25 May 1999 concerning internal investigations by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) comprising the measures needed to facilitate the smooth running of investigations conducted by the Office shall be applicable within Parliament, pursuant to the Parliament Decision annexed to these Rules of Procedure (4).

Rule 11

Observers

1.

Where a Treaty on the accession of a State to the European Union has been signed, the President, after obtaining the agreement of the Conference of Presidents, may invite the parliament of the acceding State to appoint from among its own members a number of observers equal to the number of future seats in the European Parliament allocated to that State.

2.

Those observers shall take part in the proceedings of Parliament pending the entry into force of the Treaty of Accession, and shall have a right to speak in committees and political groups. They shall not have the right to vote or to stand for election to positions in Parliament. Their participation shall not have any legal effect on Parliament’s proceedings.

3.

Their treatment shall be assimilated to that of a Member of Parliament as regards the use of Parliament’s facilities and the reimbursement of expenses incurred in their activities as observers.

4.

Paragraph 1 shall apply mutatis mutandis pending the entry into force of the arrangement (5) whereby a number of additional seats in Parliament are allocated to certain Member States until the end of the seventh parliamentary term. The Member States concerned shall be invited to designate observers in accordance with their national law.

CHAPTER 2

Officers of Parliament

Rule 12

Provisional Chair

1.

At the sitting provided for under Rule 134(2), and at any other sitting held for the purpose of electing the President and the Bureau, the outgoing President or, failing him or her, one of the outgoing Vice-Presidents in order of precedence or, in the absence of any of them, the Member having held office for the longest period shall take the chair until the President has been elected.

2.

No business shall be transacted while a Member is provisionally in the chair by virtue of paragraph 1 unless it is concerned with the election of the President or the verification of credentials.

The Member who is provisionally in the chair by virtue of paragraph 1 exercises the powers of the President referred to in the second subparagraph of Rule 3(2). Any other matter relating to the verification of credentials that is raised when he or she is in the chair is referred to the committee responsible for the verification of credentials.

Rule 13

Nominations and general provisions

1.

The President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors shall be elected by secret ballot, in accordance with Rule 169. Nominations shall be with consent. They may only be made by a political group or by at least 40 Members. However, if the number of nominations does not exceed the number of seats to be filled, the candidates may be elected by acclamation.

2.

In the election of the President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors, account should be taken of the need to ensure an overall fair representation of Member States and political views.

Rule 14

Election of President - opening address

1.

The President shall be elected first. Nominations shall be handed before each ballot to the Member provisionally in the chair by virtue of Rule 12, who shall announce them to Parliament. If after three ballots no candidate has obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast, the fourth ballot shall be confined to the two Members who have obtained the highest number of votes in the third ballot. In the event of a tie the older candidate shall be declared elected.

2.

As soon as the President has been elected, the Member who is provisionally in the chair by virtue of Rule 12 shall vacate the chair. Only the elected President may deliver an opening address.

Rule 15

Election of Vice-Presidents

1.

The Vice-Presidents shall then be elected on a single ballot paper. Those who on the first ballot, up to the number of 14, secure an absolute majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected in order of the number of votes obtained. If the number of candidates elected is less than the number of seats to be filled, a second ballot shall be held under the same conditions to fill the remaining seats. Should a third ballot be necessary, a relative majority shall suffice for election to the remaining seats. In the event of a tie the oldest candidates shall be declared elected.

Although this Rule, unlike Rule 14(1), does not expressly provide for new nominations to be introduced between ballots during the election of Vice-Presidents, such action is permissible because Parliament, being a sovereign body, must be able to consider all possible candidates, especially since the absence of such an option might impede the smooth running of the election.

2.

Subject to the provisions of Rule 18(1), the Vice-Presidents shall take precedence in the order in which they were elected and, in the event of a tie, by age.

Where they are not elected by secret ballot, the order in which their names are read out to the House by the President shall determine the order of precedence.

Rule 16

Election of Quaestors

After the election of the Vice-Presidents, Parliament shall elect five Quaestors.

The Quaestors shall be elected by the same procedure as the Vice-Presidents.

Rule 17

Term of office of Officers

1.

The term of office of the President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors shall be 2 ½ years.

When Members change political groups they shall retain, for the remainder of their 2 ½-year term of office, any seat they hold in the Bureau or the College of Quaestors.

2.

Should a vacancy for one of these positions occur before the expiry of this term of office, the Member elected shall serve only for the remaining period of his or her predecessor’s term of office.

Rule 18

Vacancies

1.

Should it be necessary for the President, a Vice-President or a Quaestor to be replaced, the successor shall be elected in accordance with the above rules.

A newly elected Vice-President shall take the place of his or her predecessor in the order of precedence.

2.

Should the President’s seat become vacant, the first Vice-President shall act as President until a new President is elected.

Rule 19

Early termination of an office

The Conference of Presidents may, acting by a majority of three fifths of the votes cast, representing at least three political groups, propose to Parliament that it terminate the holding of office of the President, a Vice-President, a Quaestor, a Chair or Vice-Chair of a committee, a Chair or Vice-Chair of an interparliamentary delegation, or any other holder of an office elected within the Parliament, where it considers that the Member in question has been guilty of serious misconduct. Such a proposal shall be approved by Parliament by a majority of two thirds of the votes cast, constituting a majority of its component Members.

CHAPTER 3

Bodies and duties

Rule 20

Duties of the President

1.

The President shall direct all the activities of Parliament and its bodies under the conditions laid down in these Rules and shall enjoy all the powers necessary to preside over the proceedings of Parliament and to ensure that they are properly conducted.

This provision can be interpreted as meaning that the powers conferred by it include the power to put an end to the excessive use of motions such as points of order, procedural motions, explanations of vote and requests for separate, split or roll-call votes where the President is convinced that these are manifestly intended to cause and will result in, a prolonged and serious obstruction of the procedures of the House or the rights of other Members.

The powers conferred by this provision include the power to put texts to the vote in an order other than that set out in the document to be voted on. By analogy with Rule 161(7), the President may seek the agreement of Parliament before doing so.

2.

The duties of the President shall be to open, suspend and close sittings; to rule on the admissibility of amendments, on questions to the Council and Commission, and on the conformity of reports with these Rules; to ensure observance of these Rules, maintain order, call upon speakers, close debates, put matters to the vote and announce the results of votes; and to refer to committees any communications that concern them.

3.

The President may speak in a debate only to sum up or to call speakers to order. Should he wish to take part in a debate, he shall vacate the chair and shall not reoccupy it until the debate is over.

4.

Parliament shall be represented in international relations, on ceremonial occasions and in administrative, legal and financial matters by the President, who may delegate these powers.

Rule 21

Duties of the Vice-Presidents

1.

If the President is absent or unable to discharge his duties, or if he wishes to take part in a debate pursuant to Rule 20(3), he shall be replaced by one of the Vice-Presidents in accordance with Rule 15(2).

2.

The Vice-Presidents shall also carry out the duties conferred upon them under Rules 23, 25(3) and (5) and 68(3).

3.

The President may delegate to the Vice-Presidents any duties such as representing Parliament at specific ceremonies or acts. In particular, the President may designate a Vice-President to take charge of the responsibilities conferred on the President in Rules 116(3) and 117(2).

Rule 22

Composition of the Bureau

1.

The Bureau shall consist of the President and the 14 Vice-Presidents of Parliament.

2.

The Quaestors shall be members of the Bureau in an advisory capacity.

3.

If voting in the Bureau results in a tie, the President shall have the casting vote.

Rule 23

Duties of the Bureau

1.

The Bureau shall carry out the duties assigned to it under the Rules of Procedure.

2.

The Bureau shall take financial, organisational and administrative decisions on matters concerning the internal organisation of Parliament, its Secretariat and its bodies.

3.

The Bureau shall take financial, organisational and administrative decisions on matters concerning Members on a proposal of the Secretary-General or of a political group.

4.

The Bureau shall take decisions on matters relating to the conduct of sittings.

The term ‘conduct of sittings’ includes the matter of the conduct of Members within all of Parliament’s premises.

5.

The Bureau shall adopt the provisions referred to in Rule 33 concerning non-attached Members.

6.

The Bureau shall decide the establishment plan of the Secretariat and lay down regulations concerning the administrative and financial situation of officials and other servants.

7.

The Bureau shall draw up Parliament’s preliminary draft budget estimates.

8.

The Bureau shall adopt the guidelines for the Quaestors in accordance with Rule 26.

9.

The Bureau shall be the authority responsible for authorising meetings of committees away from the usual places of work, hearings and study and fact-finding journeys by rapporteurs.

Where such meetings are authorised, the language arrangements shall be determined on the basis of the official languages used and requested by the members and substitutes of the committee concerned.

The same shall apply in the case of the delegations, except where the members and substitutes concerned agree otherwise.

10.

The Bureau shall appoint the Secretary-General in accordance with Rule 207.

11.

The Bureau shall lay down the implementing rules relating to Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding. In implementing that Regulation, it shall assume the tasks conferred upon it by these Rules of Procedure.

12.

The Bureau shall lay down rules concerning the treatment of confidential information by Parliament and its bodies, office-holders and other Members, taking into account any interinstitutional agreement concluded on such matters. Those rules shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and annexed to these Rules of Procedure.

13.

The President and/or the Bureau may entrust one or more members of the Bureau with general or specific tasks lying within the competence of the President and/or the Bureau. At the same time the ways and means of carrying them out shall be laid down.

14.

The Bureau shall nominate two Vice-Presidents who shall be entrusted with the implementation of relations with national parliaments.

They shall report back regularly to the Conference of Presidents on their activities in this regard.

15.

When a new Parliament is elected, the outgoing Bureau shall remain in office until the first sitting of the new Parliament.

Rule 24

Composition of the Conference of Presidents

1.

The Conference of Presidents shall consist of the President of Parliament and the Chairs of the political groups. The Chair of a political group may arrange to be represented by a member of that group.

2.

The President of Parliament shall invite one of the non-attached Members to attend meetings of the Conference of Presidents, without having the right to vote.

3.

The Conference of Presidents shall endeavour to reach a consensus on matters referred to it.

Where a consensus cannot be reached, the matter shall be put to a vote subject to a weighting based on the number of Members in each political group.

Rule 25

Duties of the Conference of Presidents

1.

The Conference of Presidents shall carry out the duties assigned to it under these Rules of Procedure.

2.

The Conference of Presidents shall take decisions on the organisation of Parliament’s work and matters of legislative planning.

3.

The Conference of Presidents shall be the authority responsible for matters concerning relations with the other institutions and bodies of the European Union and with the national parliaments of Member States.

4.

The Conference of Presidents shall be the authority responsible for matters concerning relations with non-member countries and with non-Union institutions and organisations.

5.

The Conference of Presidents shall be responsible for organising structured consultation with European civil society on major topics. This may include holding public debates, open to participation by interested citizens, on subjects of general European interest. The Bureau shall appoint a Vice-President responsible for the implementation of such consultations, who shall report back to the Conference of Presidents.

6.

The Conference of Presidents shall draw up the draft agenda of Parliament’s part-sessions.

7.

The Conference of Presidents shall be the authority responsible for the composition and competence of committees, committees of inquiry, joint parliamentary committees, standing delegations and ad hoc delegations.

8.

The Conference of Presidents shall decide how seats in the Chamber are to be allocated pursuant to Rule 34.

9.

The Conference of Presidents shall be the authority responsible for authorising the drawing up of own-initiative reports.

10.

The Conference of Presidents shall submit proposals to the Bureau on administrative and budgetary matters concerning the political groups.

Rule 26

Duties of the Quaestors

The Quaestors shall be responsible for administrative and financial matters directly concerning Members, in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Bureau.

Rule 27

Conference of Committee Chairs

1.

The Conference of Committee Chairs shall consist of the Chairs of all standing or special committees. It shall elect its chair.

In the absence of the Chair, the meeting of the Conference shall be chaired by the oldest Member, or, in the absence of the latter, by the oldest Member present.

2.

The Conference of Committee Chairs may make recommendations to the Conference of Presidents about the work of committees and the drafting of the agenda of part-sessions.

3.

The Bureau and the Conference of Presidents may instruct the Conference of Committee Chairs to carry out specific tasks.

Rule 28

Conference of Delegation Chairs

1.

The Conference of Delegation Chairs shall consist of the Chairs of all standing interparliamentary delegations. It shall elect its chair.

In the absence of the Chair, the meeting of the Conference shall be chaired by the oldest Member, or, in the absence of the latter, by the oldest Member present.

2.

The Conference of Delegation Chairs may make recommendations to the Conference of Presidents about the work of the delegations.

3.

The Bureau and the Conference of Presidents may instruct the Conference of Delegation Chairs to carry out specific tasks.

Rule 29

Accountability of the Bureau and the Conference of Presidents

1.

The minutes of the Bureau and the Conference of Presidents shall be translated into the official languages, printed and distributed to all Members of Parliament and shall be accessible to the public, unless the Bureau or the Conference of Presidents exceptionally, for reasons of confidentiality, as laid down in Article 4(1) to (4) of European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, decides otherwise with regard to certain items of the minutes.

2.

Any Member may ask questions concerning the work of the Bureau, the Conference of Presidents and the Quaestors. Such questions shall be submitted to the President in writing, notified to Members and published on Parliament’s website within 30 days of tabling, together with the answers given.

CHAPTER 4

Political groups

Rule 30

Formation of political groups

1.

Members may form themselves into groups according to their political affinities.

Parliament need not normally evaluate the political affinity of members of a group. In forming a group together under this Rule, the Members concerned accept by definition that they have political affinity. Only when this is denied by the Members concerned is it necessary for Parliament to evaluate whether the group has been constituted in accordance with the Rules.

2.

A political group shall comprise Members elected in at least one quarter of the Member States. The minimum number of Members required to form a political group shall be 25.

3.

If a group falls below the required threshold, the President, with the agreement of the Conference of Presidents, may allow it to continue to exist until Parliament’s next constitutive sitting, provided the following conditions are met:

the members continue to represent at least one fifth of the Member States,

the group has been in existence for a period longer than a year.

The President shall not apply this derogation where there is sufficient evidence to suspect that it is being abused.

4.

A Member may not belong to more than one political group.

5.

The President shall be notified in a statement when a political group is set up. This statement shall specify the name of the group and the names of its members and bureau members.

6.

The statement shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Rule 31

Activities and legal situation of the political groups

1.

The political groups shall carry out their duties as part of the activities of the Union, including the tasks allocated to them by these Rules of Procedure. The political groups shall be provided with a secretariat on the basis of the establishment plan of the Secretariat, with administrative facilities and with the appropriations entered for that purpose in Parliament’s budget.

2.

The Bureau shall lay down the rules relating to the provision, implementation and monitoring of those facilities and appropriations, as well as to the related delegations of budget implementation powers.

3.

Those rules shall determine the administrative and financial consequences in the event of the dissolution of a political group.

Rule 32

Intergroups

1.

Individual Members may form Intergroups or other unofficial groupings of Members, to hold informal exchanges of views on specific issues across different political groups, drawing on members of different parliamentary committees, and to promote contact between Members and civil society.

2.

Such groupings may not engage in any activities which might result in confusion with the official activities of Parliament or of its bodies. Provided that the conditions laid down in the rules governing their establishment adopted by the Bureau are met, political groups may facilitate their activities by providing them with logistical support. Such groupings shall declare any external support in accordance with Annex I.

Rule 33

Non-attached Members

1.

Members who do not belong to a political group shall be provided with a secretariat. The detailed arrangements shall be laid down by the Bureau on a proposal from the Secretary-General.

2.

The Bureau shall determine the status and parliamentary rights of such Members.

3.

The Bureau shall lay down the rules relating to the provision, implementation and auditing of appropriations entered in Parliament’s budget to cover the secretarial expenses and administrative facilities of non-attached Members.

Rule 34

Allocation of seats in the Chamber

The Conference of Presidents shall decide how seats in the Chamber are to be allocated to the political groups, the non-attached Members and the institutions of the European Union.

TITLE II

LEGISLATIVE, BUDGETARY AND OTHER PROCEDURES

CHAPTER 1

Legislative procedures - general provisions

Rule 35

The Commission Work Programme

1.

Parliament shall work together with the Commission and the Council to determine the legislative planning of the European Union.

Parliament and the Commission shall cooperate in preparing the Commission Work Programme – which is the Commission’s contribution to the Union’s annual and multiannual programming – in accordance with the timetable and arrangements agreed between the two institutions and annexed to these Rules of Procedure (6).

2.

In urgent and unforeseen circumstances, an institution may, on its own initiative and in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Treaties, propose adding a legislative measure to those proposed in the Commission Work Programme.

3.

The President shall forward the resolution adopted by Parliament to the other institutions which participate in the European Union’s legislative procedure and to the parliaments of the Member States.

The President shall ask the Council to express an opinion on the Commission Work Programme and on Parliament’s resolution.

4.

Where an institution is unable to comply with the timetable laid down it is required to notify the other institutions as to the reasons for the delay and to propose a new timetable.

Rule 36

Respect for the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

1.

Parliament shall in all its activities fully respect fundamental rights as laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Parliament shall also fully respect the rights and principles enshrined in Article 2 and in Article 6(2) and (3) of the Treaty on European Union.

2.

Where the committee responsible for the subject matter, a political group or at least 40 Members are of the opinion that a proposal for a legislative act or parts of it do not comply with rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the matter shall, at their request, be referred to the committee responsible for the interpretation of the Charter. The opinion of that committee shall be annexed to the report of the committee responsible for the subject matter.

Rule 37

Verification of legal basis

1.

In the case of all proposals for legislative acts and other documents of a legislative nature, the committee responsible for the subject matter shall first verify the legal basis.

2.

If that committee disputes the validity or the appropriateness of the legal basis, including in the context of the verification pursuant to Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union, it shall request the opinion of the committee responsible for legal affairs.

3.

The committee responsible for legal affairs may also on its own initiative take up questions concerning the legal basis of the proposals for legislative acts. In such cases it shall duly inform the committee responsible for the subject matter.

4.

If the committee responsible for legal affairs decides to dispute the validity or the appropriateness of the legal basis, it shall report its conclusions to Parliament. Parliament shall vote on this before voting on the substance of the proposal.

5.

Amendments tabled in Parliament to change the legal basis of a proposal for a legislative act without the committee responsible for the subject matter or the committee responsible for legal affairs having disputed the validity or appropriateness of the legal basis shall be inadmissible.

6.

If the Commission does not agree to modify its proposal to conform to the legal basis approved by Parliament, the rapporteur or the Chair of the committee responsible for legal affairs or of the committee responsible for the subject matter may propose that the vote on the substance of the proposal be postponed to a subsequent sitting.

Rule 37a

Delegation of legislative powers

1.

When scrutinising a proposal for a legislative act which delegates powers to the Commission as provided for in Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Parliament shall pay particular attention to the objectives, content, scope and duration of the delegation, and to the conditions to which it is subject.

2.

The committee responsible for the subject matter may at any time request the opinion of the committee responsible for the interpretation and application of Union law.

3.

The committee responsible for the interpretation and application of Union law may also, on its own initiative, take up questions concerning the delegation of legislative powers. In such cases it shall duly inform the committee responsible for the subject matter.

Rule 38

Verification of financial compatibility

1.

Where a proposal for a legislative act has financial implications, Parliament shall establish whether sufficient financial resources are provided.

2.

Without prejudice to Rule 43, the committee responsible for the subject matter shall verify the financial compatibility of any proposal for a legislative act, or any other document of a legislative nature, with the multiannual financial framework.

3.

When the committee responsible for the subject matter amends the financial endowment of the act it is considering, it shall request the opinion of the committee responsible for budgetary issues.

4.

The committee responsible for budgetary issues may also on its own initiative take up questions concerning the financial compatibility of proposals for legislative acts. In such cases it shall duly inform the committee responsible for the subject matter.

5.

If the committee responsible for budgetary issues decides to dispute the financial compatibility of the proposal, it shall report its conclusions to Parliament which shall put them to the vote.

6.

An act declared incompatible may be adopted by Parliament subject to the decisions of the Budgetary Authority.

Rule 38a

Examination of respect for the principle of subsidiarity

1.

During the examination of a proposal for a legislative act, Parliament shall pay particular attention to respect for the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

2.

The committee responsible for respect of the principle of subsidiarity may decide to make recommendations for the attention of the committee responsible for the subject matter in respect of any proposal for a legislative act.

3.

If a national parliament sends the President a reasoned opinion in accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the role of national parliaments in the European Union and Article 6 of the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, that document shall be referred to the committee responsible for the subject-matter and forwarded for information to the committee responsible for respect of the principle of subsidiarity.

4.

Except in the cases of urgency referred to in Article 4 of the Protocol on the role of national parliaments in the European Union, the committee responsible for the subject-matter shall not proceed to its final vote before the expiry of the deadline of 8 weeks laid down in Article 6 of the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

5.

Where reasoned opinions on the non-compliance of a proposal for a legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity represent at least one third of all the votes allocated to the national parliaments or a quarter in the case of a proposal for a legislative act submitted on the basis of Article 76 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Parliament shall not take a decision until the author of the proposal has stated how it intends to proceed.

6.

Where, under the ordinary legislative procedure, reasoned opinions on the non-compliance of a proposal for a legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity represent at least a simple majority of the votes allocated to the national parliaments, the committee responsible for the subject-matter, having considered the reasoned opinions submitted by the national parliaments and the Commission, and having heard the views of the committee responsible for respect of the principle of subsidiarity, may recommend to Parliament that it reject the proposal on the grounds of infringement of the principle of subsidiarity or submit to Parliament any other recommendation, which may include suggestions for amendments related to respect of the principle of subsidiarity. The opinion given by the committee responsible for respect of the principle of subsidiarity shall be annexed to any such recommendation.

The recommendation shall be submitted to Parliament for a debate and vote. If a recommendation to reject the proposal is adopted by a majority of the votes cast, the President shall declare the procedure closed. Where Parliament does not reject the proposal, the procedure shall continue, taking into account any recommendations approved by Parliament.

Rule 39

Access to documents and provision of information to Parliament

1.

Throughout the legislative procedure Parliament and its committees shall request access to all documents relating to proposals for legislative acts under the same conditions as the Council and its working parties.

2.

During the examination of a proposal for a legislative act, the committee responsible shall ask the Commission and the Council to keep it informed of the progress of that proposal in the Council and its working parties and in particular to inform it of any emerging compromises which will substantially amend the original proposal, or of the author’s intention to withdraw its proposal.

Rule 40

Representation of Parliament in Council meetings

When the Council invites Parliament to take part in a Council meeting in which the Council acts in a legislative capacity, the President shall ask the Chair or rapporteur of the committee responsible, or another Member designated by the committee, to represent Parliament.

Rule 41

Rights of initiative conferred on Parliament by the Treaties

In cases where the Treaties confer a right of initiative on Parliament, the committee responsible may decide to draw up an own-initiative report.

The report shall comprise:

(a)

a motion for a resolution;

(b)

where appropriate, a draft decision or a draft proposal;

(c)

an explanatory statement including, where appropriate, a financial statement.

Where the adoption of an act by Parliament requires the approval or the consent of the Council and the opinion or the consent of the Commission, Parliament may, following the vote on the proposed act, and on a proposal by the rapporteur, decide to postpone the vote on the motion for a resolution until the Council or the Commission have stated their position.

Rule 42

Initiative pursuant to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

1.

Parliament may request the Commission, pursuant to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, to submit to it any appropriate proposal for the adoption of a new act or the amendment of an existing act, by adopting a resolution on the basis of an own-initiative report drawn up by the committee responsible in accordance with Rule 48. The resolution shall be adopted by a majority of the component Members of Parliament in the final vote. Parliament may, at the same time, set a deadline for the submission of such a proposal.

2.

Any Member may table a proposal for a Union act on the basis of the right of initiative granted to Parliament pursuant to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

3.

The proposal shall be submitted to the President, who shall refer it to the committee responsible for consideration. Before such referral, the proposal shall be translated into those official languages which the Chair of that committee considers necessary in order to make summary consideration possible. The committee shall take a decision on further action within 3 months of the referral, and after having heard the author of the proposal.

Where the committee decides to submit the proposal to Parliament in accordance with the procedure set out in Rule 48, the author of the proposal shall be named in the title of the report.

4.

Parliament’s resolution shall indicate the appropriate legal basis and be accompanied by detailed recommendations as to the content of the required proposals, which shall respect fundamental rights and the principle of subsidiarity.

5.

Where a proposal has financial implications, Parliament shall indicate how sufficient financial resources can be provided.

6.

The committee responsible shall monitor the progress of preparation of any proposed legislative act drawn up following a particular request by Parliament.

Rule 43

Consideration of legislative documents

1.

Proposals for legislative acts and other documents of a legislative nature shall be referred by the President to the committee responsible for consideration.

In cases of doubt the President may apply Rule 188(2) before the announcement in Parliament of referral to the committee responsible.

In cases where a proposal is listed in the Commission Work Programme the committee responsible may decide to appoint a rapporteur to follow the preparatory phase of the proposal.

Consultations by the Council or requests from the Commission for an opinion shall be forwarded by the President to the committee responsible for consideration of the proposal concerned.

The provisions for the first reading as set out in Rules 36 to 42, 53 to 59 and 71 shall apply to proposals for legislative acts whether they require one, two or three readings.

2.

Council positions shall be referred for consideration to the committee responsible at the first reading.

The provisions for the second reading as set out in Rules 61 to 66 and 72 shall apply to Council positions.

3.

During the conciliation procedure between Parliament and the Council following the second reading, no referral back to committee shall take place.

The provisions for the third reading as set out in Rules 67, 68 and 69 shall apply to the conciliation procedure.

4.

Rules 45, 46, 49, 55(1) and (3), 56, 57 and 175 shall not apply during the second and third readings.

5.

In the event of a conflict between a provision of the Rules of Procedure relating to the second and third readings and any other provision of the Rules, the provision relating to the second and third readings shall take precedence.

Rule 44

Legislative procedures on initiatives originating from Member States

1.

Initiatives originating from Member States pursuant to Article 76 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union shall be dealt with pursuant to this Rule and Rules 36 to 39, 43 and 55.

2.

The committee responsible may invite representatives of the originating Member States to present their initiative to the committee. The representatives may be accompanied by the Presidency of the Council.

3.

Before the committee responsible proceeds to the vote, it shall ask the Commission whether it is preparing an opinion on the initiative. In the affirmative, the committee shall not adopt its report before receiving the Commission’s opinion.

4.

When two or more proposals originating from the Commission and/or the Member States with the same legislative objective have been submitted to Parliament simultaneously or within a short period of time, Parliament shall deal with them in a single report. In its report, the committee responsible shall indicate to which text it has proposed amendments and it shall refer to all other texts in the legislative resolution.

CHAPTER 2

Procedure in committee

Rule 45

Legislative reports

1.

The Chair of the committee to which a proposal for a legislative act is referred shall propose to the committee the procedure to be followed.

2.

Following a decision on the procedure to be followed, and if Rule 46 does not apply, the committee shall appoint a rapporteur on the proposal for a legislative act from among its members or permanent substitutes if it has not yet done so on the basis of the Commission Work Programme agreed under Rule 35.

3.

The committee’s report shall comprise:

(a)

amendments, if any, to the proposal, accompanied, if appropriate, by short justifications which shall be the responsibility of the rapporteur and shall not be put to the vote;

(b)

a draft legislative resolution, in accordance with Rule 55(2);

(c)

if appropriate, an explanatory statement including a financial statement which establishes the magnitude of any financial impact of the report and its compatibility with the multiannual financial framework.

Rule 46

Simplified procedure

1.

Following a first discussion of a proposal for a legislative act, the Chair may propose that it be approved without amendment. Unless at least one tenth of the members of the committee object, the Chair shall present to Parliament a report approving the proposal. Rule 138(1), second subparagraph, (2) and (4) shall apply.

2.

The Chair may alternatively propose that a set of amendments be drafted by the chair or by the rapporteur reflecting the committee’s discussion. If the committee so agrees, these amendments shall be sent to the members of the committee. Unless at least one tenth of the members of the committee object within a set time limit, which may not be less than 21 days from the date of dispatch, the report shall be deemed to have been adopted by the committee. In this case the draft legislative resolution and the amendments shall be submitted to Parliament without debate pursuant to Rule 138(1), second subparagraph, (2) and (4).

3.

If at least one tenth of the committee’s members object, the amendments shall be put to the vote at the next meeting of the committee.

4.

The first and second sentences of paragraph 1, the first, second and third sentences of paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to committee opinions within the meaning of Rule 49.

Rule 47

Non-legislative reports

1.

Where a committee draws up a non-legislative report, it shall appoint a rapporteur from among its members or permanent substitutes.

2.

The rapporteur shall be responsible for preparing the committee’s report and for presenting it to Parliament on behalf of the committee.

3.

The committee’s report shall comprise:

(a)

a motion for a resolution;

(b)

an explanatory statement including a financial statement which establishes the magnitude of any financial impact of the report and its compatibility with the multiannual financial framework;

(c)

the texts of any motions for resolutions to be included under Rule 120(4).

Rule 48

Own-initiative reports

1.

A committee intending to draw up a report and to submit to Parliament a motion for a resolution on a subject within its competence on which neither a consultation nor a request for an opinion has been referred to it under Rule 188(1) may do so only with the authorisation of the Conference of Presidents. Where such authorisation is withheld the reason must always be stated. Where the subject of the report is a proposal tabled by a Member pursuant to Rule 42(2), authorisation may be withheld only if the conditions set out in Article 5 of the Statute for Members and in Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union are not met.

The Conference of Presidents takes a decision on requests for authorisation to draw up reports submitted pursuant to paragraph 1 on the basis of implementing provisions which it itself lays down. If a committee’s competence to draw up a report for which it has requested authorisation is challenged, the Conference of Presidents takes a decision within 6 weeks on the basis of a recommendation from the Conference of Committee Chairs, or, if no such recommendation is forthcoming, from its Chair. If the Conference of Presidents fails to take a decision within that period, the recommendation is declared to have been approved.

2.

Motions for resolutions contained in own-initiative reports shall be examined by Parliament under the short presentation procedure set out in Rule 139. Amendments to such motions for resolutions shall only be admissible for consideration in plenary if tabled by the rapporteur to take account of new information or by at least one tenth of the Members of Parliament. Political groups may table alternative motions for resolutions in accordance with Rule 157(4). This paragraph shall not apply in cases where the subject of the report qualifies for a key debate in plenary, where the report is drawn up pursuant to the right of initiative referred to in Rule 41 or 42, or where the report can be considered a strategic report according to the criteria set out by the Conference of Presidents (7).

3.

Where the subject of the report comes under the right of initiative referred to in Rule 41, authorisation may be withheld only on the grounds that the conditions set out in the Treaties are not met.

4.

In the cases referred to in Rule 41 and Rule 42, the Conference of Presidents shall take a decision within 2 months.

Rule 49

Opinions of committees

1.

If the committee to which a matter was first referred wishes to hear the views of another committee, or if another committee wishes to make known its views on the report of the committee to which a matter was first referred, such committees may ask the President in accordance with Rule 188(3), for one committee to be named as the committee responsible and the other as the committee asked for an opinion.

2.

In the case of documents of a legislative nature within the meaning of Rule 43(1), the opinion shall consist of amendments to the text referred to the committee accompanied where appropriate by short justifications. Such justifications shall be the responsibility of the rapporteur for the opinion and shall not be put to the vote. If necessary the committee asked for an opinion may submit a short written justification for the opinion taken as a whole.

In the case of non-legislative texts, the opinion shall consist of suggestions for parts of the motion for a resolution submitted by the committee responsible.

The committee responsible shall put these amendments or suggestions to the vote.

The opinions shall deal solely with those matters that fall within the areas of responsibility of the committee asked for an opinion.

3.

The committee responsible shall set a deadline within which the committee asked for an opinion must deliver it if it is to be taken into account by the committee responsible. Any changes to the announced timetable shall be immediately communicated by the committee responsible to the committee(s) asked for an opinion. The committee responsible shall not reach its final conclusions before that time limit has expired.

4.

All adopted opinions shall be annexed to the report of the committee responsible.

5.

Only the committee responsible may table amendments in plenary.

6.

The Chair and rapporteur of the committee asked for an opinion shall be invited to take part in an advisory capacity in meetings of the committee responsible, in so far as these relate to the matter of common concern.

Rule 50

Procedure with associated committees

Where a question of competence is referred to the Conference of Presidents pursuant to Rules 188(2) or 48, and the Conference of Presidents, on the basis of Annex VII, considers that the matter falls almost equally within the competence of two or more committees, or that different parts of the matter fall within the competence of two or more committees, Rule 49 shall apply with the following additional provisions:

the timetable shall be jointly agreed by the committees concerned,

the rapporteurs concerned shall keep each other informed and shall endeavour to agree on the texts they propose to their committees and on their position regarding amendments,

the Chairs and rapporteurs concerned shall jointly identify areas of the text falling within their exclusive or joint competence and agree on the precise arrangements for their cooperation. In the event of disagreement about the delimitation of competences the matter shall be submitted, at the request of one of the committees involved, to the Conference of Presidents, which may decide on the question of the respective competences or decide that the procedure with joint committee meetings under Rule 51 is to apply; the second subparagraph of Rule 188(2) shall apply mutatis mutandis,

the committee responsible shall accept without a vote amendments from an associated committee where they concern matters which fall within the exclusive competence of the associated committee. If amendments on matters which fall within the joint competence of the committee responsible and an associated committee are rejected by the former, the latter may table those amendments directly in plenary,

in the event of a conciliation procedure taking place on the proposal, Parliament’s delegation shall include the rapporteur of any associated committee.

The wording of this Rule does not lay down any limits to its scope. Requests for application of the procedure with associated committees concerning non-legislative reports based on Rules 48(1) and 119(1) and (2) are admissible.

For the purposes of examining international agreements under Rule 90, the procedure with associated committees set out in this Rule may not be applied in relation to the consent procedure under Rule 81.

The Conference of Presidents’ decision to apply the procedure with associated committees applies at all stages of the procedure in question.

The rights attaching to the status of ‘committee responsible’ are exercised by the lead committee. In exercising those rights, the lead committee must take due account of the prerogatives of the associated committee, and in particular must comply with the obligation to observe the principle of sincere cooperation as regards the timetable and respect the right of the associated committee to determine the amendments submitted in plenary which fall within its exclusive competence.

Should the lead committee disregard the prerogatives of the associated committee, decisions taken by the former remain valid but the latter may table amendments directly in plenary, within the limits of its exclusive competence.

Rule 51

Procedure with joint committee meetings

Where the conditions set out in Rule 49(1) and Rule 50 are fulfilled, the Conference of Presidents may, if it is satisfied that the matter is of major importance, decide that a procedure with joint meetings of committees and a joint vote is to be applied. In that event, the rapporteurs concerned shall draw up a single draft report, which shall be examined and voted on by the committees involved at joint meetings held under the joint chairmanship of the committee Chairs concerned. The committees involved may set up intercommittee working groups to prepare the joint meetings and votes.

Rule 52

Drafting of reports

1.

The explanatory statement shall be the responsibility of the rapporteur and shall not be put to the vote. It must, however, accord with the text of the motion for a resolution as adopted and any amendments proposed by the committee. If it fails to do so, the chair of the committee may delete the explanatory statement.

2.

The report shall state the result of the vote taken on the report as a whole. In addition, if at least one third of the members present so request when the vote is taken, the report shall indicate how each member voted.

3.

Where the committee’s opinion is not unanimous the report shall also give a summary of the minority opinion. Minority opinions shall be expressed when the vote on the text as a whole is taken and may, at the request of their authors, be the subject of a written declaration not exceeding 200 words in length, annexed to the explanatory statement.

The Chair shall settle any disputes which may arise as a result of the application of these provisions.

4.

On a proposal from its bureau, a committee may set a deadline within which the rapporteur must submit the draft report. This deadline may be extended or a new rapporteur appointed.

5.

Once the deadline has expired, the committee may instruct its Chair to ask for the matter referred to it to be placed on the agenda of one of the next sittings of Parliament. The debates may then be conducted on the basis of an oral report by the committee concerned.

CHAPTER 3

First reading

Committee stage

Rule 53

Modification of a proposal for a legislative act

1.

If the Commission informs Parliament or if the committee responsible becomes otherwise aware that the Commission intends to modify its proposal, the committee responsible shall postpone its examination of the matter until it has received the new proposal or the amendments of the Commission.

2.

If the Council substantially modifies the proposal for a legislative act, the provisions of Rule 59 shall apply.

Rule 54

Commission and Council position on amendments

1.

Before the committee responsible proceeds to the final vote on a proposal for a legislative act, it shall ask the Commission to state its position on all the amendments to the proposal adopted by the committee, and the Council to comment.

2.

If the Commission is not in a position to make such a statement or declares that it is not prepared to accept all the amendments adopted by the committee, then the committee may postpone the final vote.

3.

If appropriate, the position of the Commission shall be included in the report.

Plenary stage

Rule 55

Conclusion of first reading

1.

Parliament shall examine the proposal for a legislative act on the basis of the report drawn up by the committee responsible pursuant to Rule 45.

2.

Parliament shall first vote on the amendments to the proposal with which the report of the committee responsible is concerned, then on the proposal, amended or otherwise, then on the amendments to the draft legislative resolution, then on the draft legislative resolution as a whole, which shall contain only a statement as to whether Parliament approves, rejects or proposes amendments to the proposal for a legislative act and any procedural requests.

The first reading is concluded if the draft legislative resolution is adopted. If Parliament does not adopt the legislative resolution, the proposal shall be referred back to the committee responsible.

All reports tabled under the legislative procedure should comply with Rules 37, 43 and 45. Any non-legislative motion for a resolution tabled by a committee should be in accordance with the referral procedures provided for in Rule 48 or 188.

3.

The text of the proposal as approved by Parliament and the accompanying resolution shall be forwarded to the Council and the Commission by the President as Parliament’s position.

Rule 56

Rejection of a Commission proposal

1.

If a Commission proposal fails to secure a majority of the votes cast or if a motion for its rejection, which may be tabled by the committee responsible or by at least 40 Members, has been adopted, the President shall, before Parliament votes on the draft legislative resolution, ask the Commission to withdraw the proposal.

2.

If the Commission does so, the President shall declare the procedure closed and shall inform the Council accordingly.

3.

If the Commission does not withdraw its proposal, Parliament shall refer the matter back to the committee responsible without voting on the draft legislative resolution, unless Parliament, on a proposal of the Chair or rapporteur of the committee responsible or of a political group or at least 40 Members, proceeds to vote on the draft legislative resolution.

In the event of referral back, the committee responsible shall decide on the procedure to be followed and shall, orally or in writing, report back to Parliament within a period decided by Parliament which may not exceed 2 months.

Following a referral back to committee pursuant to paragraph 3, the lead committee must, before taking a decision on the procedure to be followed, allow an associated committee, as provided for in Rule 50, to make choices as to the amendments which fall within its exclusive competence, and in particular to choose which amendments are to be resubmitted in plenary.

The time limit laid down in the second subparagraph of paragraph 3 applies to the tabling in writing, or the oral presentation, of the report of the committee responsible. It does not apply to Parliament’s decision as to the appropriate juncture at which to continue consideration of the procedure in question.

4.

If the committee responsible is unable to meet the deadline, it shall request referral back to committee pursuant to Rule 175(1). If necessary, Parliament may set a new time limit pursuant to Rule 175(5). If the committee’s request is not accepted, Parliament shall proceed to the vote on the draft legislative resolution.

Rule 57

Adoption of amendments to a Commission proposal

1.

Where the Commission proposal as a whole is approved, but on the basis of amendments which have also been adopted, the vote on the draft legislative resolution shall be postponed until the Commission has stated its position on each of Parliament’s amendments.

If the Commission is not in a position to make such a statement at the end of Parliament’s vote on its proposal, it shall inform the President or the committee responsible as to when it will be in a position to do so; the proposal shall then be placed on the draft agenda of the first part-session thereafter.

2.

If the Commission announces that it does not intend to adopt all Parliament’s amendments, the rapporteur of the committee responsible, or else the Chair of that committee, shall make a formal proposal to Parliament as to whether the vote on the draft legislative resolution should proceed. Before submitting this proposal, the rapporteur or Chair of the committee responsible may ask the President to suspend consideration of the item.

If Parliament decides to postpone the vote, the matter shall be deemed to be referred back to the committee responsible for reconsideration.

In this case, the committee responsible shall, orally or in writing, report to Parliament within a period decided by Parliament which may not exceed 2 months.

If the committee responsible is unable to meet the deadline, the procedure provided for in Rule 56(4) shall be applied.

Only amendments tabled by the committee responsible and seeking to reach a compromise with the Commission shall be admissible at this stage.

3.

Application of paragraph 2 does not preclude a request for referral being tabled by other Members pursuant to Rule 175.

A committee to which a matter has been referred back under paragraph 2 is principally required under the terms of that referral to report within the deadline given and, where appropriate, to table amendments seeking to reach a compromise with the Commission, but not to reconsider all the provisions approved by Parliament.

However, within these terms of reference, in view of the suspensory effect of the referral, the committee enjoys a greater degree of freedom and may, where necessary in the interests of the compromise, propose reconsidering provisions which received a favourable vote in Parliament.

In such cases, in view of the fact that the only admissible amendments from the committee are those seeking to reach a compromise, and with a view to preserving Parliament’s sovereignty, the report referred to in paragraph 2 must clearly state which provisions already approved would fall if the proposed amendments were adopted.

Follow-up procedure

Rule 58

Follow-up to Parliament’s position

1.

In the period following the adoption by Parliament of its position on a proposal by the Commission, the Chair and the rapporteur of the committee responsible shall monitor the progress of the proposal over the course of the procedure leading to its adoption by the Council, in particular to ensure that the undertakings given by the Council or the Commission to Parliament concerning its position are properly observed.

2.

The committee responsible may invite the Commission and the Council to discuss the matter with it.

3.

At any stage of the follow-up procedure the committee responsible may, if it deems it necessary, table a motion for a resolution under this Rule recommending that Parliament:

call upon the Commission to withdraw its proposal, or

call upon the Commission or the Council to refer the matter to Parliament once again pursuant to Rule 59, or upon the Commission to present a new proposal, or

decide to take such other action as it deems appropriate.

This motion shall be placed on the draft agenda of the part-session following the decision by the committee.

Rule 59

Renewed referral to Parliament

Ordinary legislative procedure

1.

The President shall, at the request of the committee responsible, ask the Commission to refer its proposal again to Parliament in cases:

where the Commission withdraws its initial proposal after Parliament has adopted its position, in order to replace it with another text, except where this is done in order to take account of Parliament’s position, or

where the Commission substantially amends or intends to amend its initial proposal, except where this is done in order to take account of Parliament’s position, or

where, through the passage of time or changes in circumstances, the nature of the problem with which the proposal is concerned substantially changes, or

where new elections to Parliament have taken place since it adopted its position, and the Conference of Presidents considers it desirable.

2.

Parliament shall, at the request of the committee responsible, ask the Council to refer again to Parliament a proposal submitted by the Commission pursuant to Article 294 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, where the Council intends to modify the legal basis of the proposal with the result that the ordinary legislative procedure will no longer apply.

Other procedures

3.

At the request of the committee responsible, the President shall call on the Council to reconsult Parliament in the same circumstances and under the same conditions as those set out in paragraph 1, and also where the Council substantially amends or intends to amend the proposal on which Parliament originally delivered its opinion, except where this is done in order to incorporate Parliament’s amendments.

4.

The President shall also request that a proposal for an act be referred again to Parliament in the circumstances defined in this Rule where Parliament so decides on a proposal from a political group or at least 40 Members.

Rule 60

Deleted

CHAPTER 4

Second reading

Committee stage

Rule 61

Communication of the Council’s position

1.

Communication of the Council’s position pursuant to Article 294 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union takes place when it is announced by the President in Parliament. The President shall make the announcement after receiving the documents which contain the position itself, all declarations made in the Council minutes when it adopted the position, the reasons which led the Council to adopt its position, and the Commission’s position, duly translated into the official languages of the European Union. The President’s announcement shall be made during the part-session following the receipt of such documents.

Before making the announcement, the President establishes, after consulting the Chair of the committee responsible and/or the rapporteur, that the text received is indeed a Council’s first reading position and that the circumstances described in Rule 59 do not apply. Failing this, the President, together with the committee responsible and, where possible, in agreement with the Council, seeks an appropriate solution.

2.

A list of such communications shall be published in the minutes of the sitting together with the name of the committee responsible.

Rule 62

Extension of time limits

1.

The President shall, at the request of the Chair of the committee responsible in the case of time limits for second reading, or at the request of Parliament’s conciliation delegation in the case of time limits for conciliation, extend the limits in question in accordance with Article 294(14) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

2.

The President shall notify Parliament of any extension of time limits pursuant to Article 294(14) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, whether on the initiative of Parliament or of the Council.

Rule 63

Referral to and procedure in the committee responsible

1.

On the day of its communication to Parliament pursuant to Rule 61(1), the Council’s position shall be deemed to have been referred automatically to the committee responsible and to the committees asked for their opinion at first reading.

2.

The Council’s position shall be entered as the first item on the agenda of the first meeting of the committee responsible following the date of its communication. The Council may be invited to present its position.

3.

Unless otherwise decided, the rapporteur at second reading shall be the same as at first reading.

4.

The provisions for Parliament’s second reading in Rule 66(2), (3) and (5) shall apply to the proceedings in the committee responsible; only members or permanent substitutes of that committee may table proposals for rejection and amendments. The committee shall decide by a majority of the votes cast.

5.

Before voting, the committee may request the Chair and rapporteur to discuss amendments that have been tabled in the committee with the President of the Council or the latter’s representative and with the Commissioner responsible present. The rapporteur may table compromise amendments following such discussion.

6.

The committee responsible shall submit a recommendation for second reading proposing the approval, amendment or rejection of the position adopted by the Council. The recommendation shall include a short justification for the decision proposed.

Plenary stage

Rule 64

Conclusion of second reading

1.

The Council’s position and, where available, the recommendation for second reading of the committee responsible shall automatically be placed on the draft agenda for the part-session whose Wednesday falls before and closest to the day of expiry of the period of 3 months or, if extended in accordance with Rule 62, of 4 months, unless the matter has been dealt with at an earlier part-session.

The recommendations for second reading submitted by parliamentary committees are equivalent to an explanatory statement in which the committee justifies its position in relation to the Council’s position. There is no vote on these texts.

2.

The second reading shall be concluded when Parliament approves, rejects or amends the Council’s position within the time limits and in accordance with the conditions laid down by Article 294 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Rule 65

Rejection of the Council’s position

1.

The committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members may, in writing and before a deadline set by the President, table a proposal to reject the Council’s position. Such a proposal shall require for adoption the votes of a majority of the component Members of Parliament. A proposal to reject the Council’s position shall be voted on before voting on any amendments.

2.

Notwithstanding a vote by Parliament against the initial proposal to reject the Council’s position, Parliament may, on the recommendation of the rapporteur, consider a further proposal for rejection after voting on the amendments and hearing a statement from the Commission pursuant to Rule 66(5).

3.

If the Council’s position is rejected, the President shall announce in Parliament that the legislative procedure is closed.

Rule 66

Amendments to the Council’s position

1.

The committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members may table amendments to the Council’s position for consideration in Parliament.

2.

An amendment to the Council’s position shall be admissible only if it complies with Rules 156 and 157 and seeks:

(a)

to restore wholly or partly the position adopted by Parliament at its first reading; or

(b)

to reach a compromise between the Council and Parliament; or

(c)

to amend a part of the text of a Council’s position which was not included in - or differs in content from - the proposal submitted at first reading and which does not amount to a substantial change within the meaning of Rule 59; or

(d)

to take account of a new fact or legal situation which has arisen since the first reading.

The President’s discretion to declare an amendment admissible or inadmissible may not be questioned.

3.

If new elections have taken place since the first reading, but Rule 59 has not been invoked, the President may decide to waive the restrictions on admissibility laid down in paragraph 2.

4.

An amendment shall be adopted only if it secures the votes of a majority of the component Members of Parliament.

5.

Before voting on the amendments, the President may ask the Commission to state its position and the Council to comment.

CHAPTER 5

Third reading

Conciliation

Rule 67

Convening of the Conciliation Committee

Where the Council informs Parliament that it is unable to approve all Parliament’s amendments to the Council’s position, the President shall, together with the Council, agree to a time and place for a first meeting of the Conciliation Committee. The 6-week or, if extended, 8-week deadline provided for in Article 294(10) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union shall run from the day on which the Committee first meets.

Rule 68

Delegation to the Conciliation Committee

1.

Parliament’s delegation to the Conciliation Committee shall consist of a number of members equal to the number of members of the Council delegation.

2.

The political composition of the delegation shall correspond to the composition of Parliament by political groups. The Conference of Presidents shall determine the exact number of Members from each political group.

3.

The members of the delegation shall be appointed by the political groups for each conciliation case, preferably from among the members of the committees concerned, except for three members who shall be appointed as permanent members of successive delegations for a period of 12 months. The three permanent members shall be appointed by the political groups from among the Vice-Presidents and shall represent at least two different political groups. The chair and the rapporteur of the committee responsible in each case shall be members of the delegation.

4.

The political groups represented on the delegation shall appoint substitutes.

5.

Political groups and non-attached Members not represented on the delegation may each send one representative to any internal preparatory meeting of the delegation.

6.

The delegation shall be led by the President or by one of the three permanent members.

7.

The delegation shall decide by a majority of its members. Its deliberations shall not be public.

The Conference of Presidents shall lay down further procedural guidelines for the work of the delegation to the Conciliation Committee.

8.

The results of the conciliation shall be reported by the delegation to Parliament.

Plenary stage

Rule 69

Joint text

1.

Where agreement on a joint text is reached within the Conciliation Committee, the matter shall be placed on the agenda of a sitting of Parliament to be held within 6 or, if extended, 8 weeks of the date of approval of the joint text by the Conciliation Committee.

2.

The Chair or another designated member of Parliament’s delegation to the Conciliation Committee shall make a statement on the joint text, which shall be accompanied by a report.

3.

No amendments may be tabled to the joint text.

4.

The joint text as a whole shall be the subject of a single vote. The joint text shall be approved if it secures a majority of the votes cast.

5.

If no agreement is reached on a joint text within the Conciliation Committee, the Chair or another designated member of Parliament’s delegation to the Conciliation Committee shall make a statement. This statement shall be followed by a debate.

CHAPTER 6

Conclusion of the legislative procedure

Rule 70

Interinstitutional negotiations in legislative procedures

1.

Negotiations with the other institutions aimed at reaching an agreement in the course of a legislative procedure shall be conducted having regard to the Code of Conduct for negotiating in the context of the ordinary legislative procedure (8).

2.

Before entering into such negotiations, the committee responsible should, in principle, take a decision by a majority of its members and adopt a mandate, orientations or priorities.

3.

If the negotiations lead to a compromise with the Council following the adoption of the report by the committee, the committee shall in any case be reconsulted before the vote in plenary.

Rule 71

First-reading agreement

Where, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Council has informed Parliament that it has approved Parliament’s position, the President, following finalisation in accordance with Rule 180, shall announce in Parliament that the proposal has been adopted in the wording which corresponds to the position of Parliament.

Rule 72

Second-reading agreement

Where no motion to reject the Council’s position, and no amendments to that position, are adopted under Rules 65 and 66 within the time limits set for tabling and voting on amendments or proposals to reject, the President shall announce in Parliament that the proposed act has been finally adopted. He shall, with the President of the Council, sign the proposed act and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, in accordance with Rule 74.

Rule 73

Requirements for the drafting of legislative acts

1.

Acts adopted jointly by Parliament and the Council in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure shall indicate the nature of the relevant act followed by the serial number, the date of its adoption and an indication of its subject-matter.

2.

Acts adopted jointly by Parliament and the Council shall contain the following:

(a)

‘The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union’;

(b)

a reference to the provisions under which the act is adopted, preceded by the words ‘Having regard to’;

(c)

a citation containing a reference to proposals submitted, opinions obtained and consultations held;

(d)

a statement of the reasons on which the act is based, introduced by the word ‘Whereas’;

(e)

a phrase such as ‘have adopted this Regulation’ or ‘have adopted this Directive’ or ‘have adopted this Decision’ or ‘have decided as follows’, followed by the body of the act.

3.

Acts shall be divided into articles, if appropriate grouped into chapters and sections.

4.

The last article of an act shall specify the date of entry into force, where that date is before or after the twentieth day following publication.

5.

The last article of an act shall be followed by:

the appropriate formulation, according to the relevant provisions of the Treaties, as to its applicability;

‘Done at …’, followed by the date on which the act was adopted;

‘For the European Parliament The President’, ‘For the Council The President’, followed by the name of the President of Parliament and of the President-in-Office of the Council at the time when the act was adopted.

Rule 74

Signing of adopted acts

After finalisation of the text adopted in accordance with Rule 180 and once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, acts adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure shall be signed by the President and the Secretary-General and shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union by the Secretaries-General of Parliament and of the Council.

CHAPTER 6a

Constitutional matters

Rule 74a

Ordinary Treaty revision

1.

In accordance with Rules 41 and 48 the committee responsible may submit to Parliament a report containing proposals to the Council for amendment of the Treaties.

2.

Where Parliament is consulted, in accordance with Article 48(3) of the Treaty on European Union, on a proposal for a decision of the European Council in favour of examining amendments to the Treaties, the matter shall be referred to the committee responsible. The committee shall draw up a report comprising:

a motion for a resolution which states whether Parliament approves or rejects the proposed decision and which may contain proposals for the attention of the Convention or of the conference of representatives of the governments of the Member States;

if appropriate, an explanatory statement.

3.

If the European Council decides to convene a Convention, the representatives of Parliament shall be appointed by Parliament upon a proposal by the Conference of Presidents.

Parliament’s delegation shall elect its leader and its candidates for membership of any steering group or bureau set up by the Convention

4.

Where the European Council requests Parliament’s consent in relation to a decision not to convene a Convention for the examination of proposed amendments of the Treaties, the matter shall be referred to the committee responsible in accordance with Rule 81.

Rule 74b

Simplified Treaty revision

1.

In accordance with Rules 41 and 48 the committee responsible may submit to Parliament, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 48(6) of the Treaty on European Union, a report containing proposals to the European Council for revision of all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

2.

Where Parliament is consulted, in accordance with Article 48(6) of the Treaty on European Union, on a proposal for a decision of the European Council amending Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Rule 74a(2) shall apply mutatis mutandis. In that event, the motion for a resolution may contain proposals for amendments only of provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Rule 74c

Accession treaties

1.

Any application by a European State to become a member of the European Union shall be referred for consideration to the committee responsible.

2.

Parliament may decide, on a proposal from the committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members, to request the Commission and the Council to take part in a debate before negotiations with the applicant State commence.

3.

Throughout the negotiations the Commission and the Council shall inform the committee responsible regularly and fully of their progress, if necessary on a confidential basis.

4.

At any stage of the negotiations Parliament may, on the basis of a report from the committee responsible, adopt recommendations and require these to be taken into account before the conclusion of a Treaty for the accession of an applicant State to the European Union.

5.

When the negotiations are completed, but before any agreement is signed, the draft agreement shall be submitted to Parliament for consent in accordance with Rule 81.

Rule 74d

Withdrawal from the Union

If a Member State decides, pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, to withdraw from the Union, the matter shall be referred to the committee responsible. Rule 74c shall apply mutatis mutandis. Parliament shall decide on consent to an agreement on the withdrawal by a majority of the votes cast.

Rule 74e

Breach by a Member State of fundamental principles

1.

Parliament may, on the basis of a specific report of the committee responsible drawn up in accordance with Rules 41 and 48:

(a)

vote on a reasoned proposal calling on the Council to act pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union;

(b)

vote on a proposal calling on the Commission or the Member States to submit a proposal pursuant to Article 7(2) of the Treaty on European Union;

(c)

vote on a proposal calling on the Council to act pursuant to Article 7(3) or, subsequently, Article 7(4) of the Treaty on European Union.

2.

Any request from the Council for consent in relation to a proposal submitted pursuant to Article 7(1) and (2) of the Treaty on European Union along with the observations submitted by the Member State in question shall be announced to Parliament and referred to the committee responsible in accordance with Rule 81. Except in urgent and justified circumstances, Parliament shall take its decision on a proposal from the committee responsible.

3.

Decisions under paragraphs 1 and 2 shall require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, constituting a majority of Parliament’s component Members.

4.

Subject to the authorisation of the Conference of Presidents, the committee responsible may submit an accompanying motion for a resolution. That motion for a resolution shall set out Parliament’s views on a serious breach by a Member State, on the appropriate sanctions and on varying or revoking those sanctions.

5.

The committee responsible shall ensure that Parliament is fully informed and, where necessary, asked for its views on all follow-up measures to its consent as given pursuant to paragraph 3. The Council shall be invited to outline developments as appropriate. On a proposal from the committee responsible, drawn up with the authorisation of the Conference of Presidents, Parliament may adopt recommendations to the Council.

Rule 74f

Composition of Parliament

In due time before the end of a parliamentary term, Parliament may, on the basis of a report drawn up by its committee responsible in accordance with Rule 41, make a proposal to modify its composition. The European Council’s draft decision establishing the composition of Parliament shall be examined in accordance with Rule 81.

Rule 74g

Enhanced cooperation between Member States

1.

Requests for the introduction of enhanced cooperation between Member States pursuant to Article 20 of the Treaty on European Union shall be referred by the President to the committee responsible for consideration. Rules 37, 38, 39, 43, 53 to 59 and 81 shall apply as appropriate.

2.

The committee responsible shall verify compliance with Article 20 of the Treaty on European Union and Articles 326 to 334 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

3.

Acts subsequently proposed under enhanced cooperation, once it is established, shall be dealt with in Parliament under the same procedures as when enhanced cooperation does not apply. Rule 43 shall apply.

CHAPTER 7

Budgetary procedures

Rule 75

Multiannual financial framework

Where the Council requests Parliament’s consent concerning the proposal for a regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework, the matter shall be referred to the committee responsible in accordance with the procedure laid down in Rule 81. Parliament’s consent shall require the votes of a majority of its component Members.

Rule 75a

Working documents

1.

The following documents shall be made available to Members:

(a)

the draft budget presented by the Commission;

(b)

a summary by the Council of its deliberations on the draft budget;

(c)

the Council’s position on the draft budget drawn up pursuant to Article 314(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

(d)

any draft decision on the provisional twelfths pursuant to Article 315 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

2.

Those documents shall be referred to the committee responsible. Any committee concerned may deliver an opinion.

3.

If other committees wish to deliver opinions, the President shall set the time limit within which these are to be communicated to the committee responsible.

Rule 75b

Consideration of the draft budget - first stage

1.

Subject to the conditions set out below, any Member may table and speak in support of draft amendments to the draft budget.

2.

Draft amendments shall be admissible only if they are presented in writing, bear the signatures of at least 40 Members or are tabled on behalf of a political group or committee, specify the budget heading to which they refer and ensure the maintenance of a balance between revenue and expenditure. Draft amendments shall include all relevant information on the remarks to be entered against the budget heading in question.

All draft amendments to the draft budget must be justified in writing.

3.

The President shall set the time limit for the tabling of draft amendments.

4.

The committee responsible shall deliver its opinion on the texts submitted before they are discussed in Parliament.

Draft amendments which have been rejected in the committee responsible shall not be put to the vote in Parliament unless this has been requested in writing, before a deadline to be set by the President, by a committee or at least 40 Members; that deadline may on no account be less than 24 hours before the start of the vote.

5.

Draft amendments to the estimates of Parliament which are similar to those already rejected by Parliament at the time when the estimates were drawn up shall be discussed only where the committee responsible has delivered a favourable opinion.

6.

Notwithstanding Rule 55(2), Parliament shall take separate and successive votes on:

each draft amendment,

each section of the draft budget,

a motion for a resolution concerning the draft budget.

However, Rule 161(4) to (8) shall apply.

7.

Articles, chapters, titles and sections of the draft budget in respect of which no draft amendments have been tabled shall be deemed adopted.

8.

Draft amendments shall require for adoption the votes of a majority of the component Members of Parliament.

9.

If Parliament has amended the draft budget, the draft budget thus amended shall be forwarded to the Council and the Commission, together with the justifications.

10.

The minutes of the sitting at which Parliament delivered its opinion on the draft budget shall be forwarded to the Council and the Commission.

Rule 75c

Financial trialogue

The President shall participate in regular meetings between the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission convened, on the initiative of the Commission, under the budgetary procedures referred to in Title II of Part Six of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The President shall take all necessary steps to promote consultation and reconciliation of the positions of the institutions in order to facilitate the implementation of the procedures aforementioned.

The President of Parliament may delegate this task to a Vice-President having experience in budgetary matters or to the Chair of the committee responsible for budgetary issues.

Rule 75d

Budgetary conciliation

1.

The President shall convene the Conciliation Committee in accordance with Article 314(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

2.

The delegation representing Parliament at meetings of the Conciliation Committee in the budgetary procedure shall consist of a number of members equal to that of the Council delegation.

3.

The members of the delegation shall be appointed by the political groups each year prior to Parliament’s vote on the Council’s position, preferably from amongst the members of the committee responsible for budgetary issues and other committees concerned. The delegation shall be led by the President of Parliament. The President may delegate this role to a Vice-President having experience in budgetary matters or to the Chair of the committee responsible for budgetary issues.

4.

Rule 68(2), (4), (5), (7) and (8) shall apply.

5.

Where agreement on a joint text is reached within the Conciliation Committee, the matter shall be placed on the agenda of a sitting of Parliament to be held within 14 days from the date of that agreement. The joint text shall be made available to all Members. Rule 69(2) and (3) shall apply.

6.

The joint text as a whole shall be subject to a single vote. The vote shall be taken by a roll-call vote. The joint text shall be deemed to be approved unless it is rejected by a majority of the component Members of the Parliament.

7.

If Parliament approves the joint text whilst the Council rejects it, the committee responsible may table all or some of Parliament’s amendments to the Council’s position for a confirmation in accordance with point (d) of Article 314(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The vote on the confirmation shall be placed on the agenda of a sitting of Parliament to be held within 14 days from the date of the communication by the Council of its rejection of the joint text.

The amendments shall be deemed to be confirmed if they are approved by a majority of the component Members of Parliament and three fifths of the votes cast.

Rule 75e

Definitive adoption of the budget

Where the President is satisfied that the budget has been adopted in accordance with the provisions of Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, he shall declare in Parliament that the budget has been definitively adopted. He shall arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Rule 75f

Provisional twelfths system

1.

Any decision by the Council authorising expenditure in excess of the provisional one twelfth for expenditure shall be referred to the committee responsible.

2.

The committee responsible may table a draft decision to reduce the expenditure referred to in paragraph 1. Parliament shall decide on it within 30 days after the adoption of the Council’s decision.

3.

Parliament shall act by a majority of its component Members.

Rule 76

Discharge to the Commission in respect of implementation of the budget

The provisions concerning the procedures for implementing the decision on the granting of discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget in accordance with the financial provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Financial Regulation are attached to these Rules as an annex (9). This annex shall be adopted in accordance with Rule 212(2).

Rule 77

Other discharge procedures

The provisions governing the procedure for granting discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget shall likewise apply to the procedure for granting discharge to:

the President of the European Parliament in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Parliament,

the persons responsible for the implementation of the budgets of other institutions and bodies of the European Union such as the Council (as regards its activity as executive), the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions,

the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Development Fund,

the bodies responsible for the budgetary management of legally independent entities which carry out Union tasks, in so far as their activities are subject to legal provisions requiring discharge by the European Parliament.

Rule 78

Parliamentary control over implementation of the budget

1.

Parliament shall monitor the implementation of the current year’s budget. It shall entrust this task to the committees responsible for the budget and budgetary control and to the other committees concerned.

2.

Each year it shall consider, before the first reading of the draft budget for the following financial year, the problems involved in the implementation of the current budget, where appropriate on the basis of a motion for a resolution tabled by its committee responsible.

CHAPTER 8

Internal budgetary procedures

Rule 79

Estimates of Parliament

1.

The Bureau shall draw up the preliminary draft estimates on the basis of a report prepared by the Secretary-General.

2.

The President shall forward the preliminary draft estimates to the committee responsible, which shall draw up the draft estimates and report to Parliament.

3.

The President shall set a time limit for tabling amendments to the draft estimates.

The committee responsible shall give its opinion on these amendments.

4.

Parliament shall adopt the estimates.

5.

The President shall forward the estimates to the Commission and the Council.

6.

The foregoing provisions shall also apply to estimates for amending budgets.

Rule 79a

Procedure to be applied when drawing up Parliament’s estimates

1.

As regards Parliament’s budget, the Bureau and the committee responsible for budgetary issues shall take decisions in successive stages on:

(a)

the establishment plan;

(b)

the preliminary draft and the draft estimates.

2.

The decisions concerning the establishment plan will be taken in accordance with the following procedure:

(a)

the Bureau shall draw up the establishment plan for each financial year;

(b)

a conciliation procedure between the Bureau and the committee responsible for budgetary issues shall be opened in cases where the opinion of the latter diverges from the initial decisions taken by the Bureau;

(c)

at the end of the procedure, the Bureau shall take the final decision on the estimates for the establishment plan, in accordance with Rule 207(3), without prejudice to decisions taken pursuant to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

3.

As regards the estimates proper, the procedure for drawing up the estimates will begin as soon as the Bureau has taken a final decision on the establishment plan. The stages of that procedure will be those laid down in Rule 79. A conciliation procedure shall be opened in cases where the positions of the committee responsible for budgetary issues and of the Bureau are widely divergent.

Rule 80

Power to incur and settle expenditure

1.

The President shall incur and settle, or cause to be incurred and settled, the expenditure covered by the internal financial regulations issued by the Bureau after consulting the appropriate committee.

2.

The President shall forward the draft annual accounts to the committee responsible.

3.

On the basis of a report by the committee responsible, Parliament shall approve its accounts and decide on the granting of a discharge.

CHAPTER 9

Consent procedure

Rule 81

Consent procedure

1.

Where Parliament is asked to give its consent to a proposed act, it shall take a decision on the basis of a recommendation from the committee responsible to approve or reject the act.

Parliament shall take a decision on the act requiring its consent under the Treaty on European Union or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by means of a single vote, and no amendments may be tabled. The majority required for the adoption of the consent shall be the majority indicated in the article of the Treaty on European Union or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union that constitutes the legal basis for the proposed act.

2.

In the case of accession treaties and international agreements and determination of a serious and persistent breach of common principles by a Member State, Rules 74c, 74e and 90 shall apply respectively. For an enhanced cooperation procedure in an area covered by the ordinary legislative procedure, Rule 74g shall apply.

3.

Where Parliament’s consent is required for a proposed legislative act or an envisaged international agreement, the committee responsible may decide, in the interests of achieving a positive outcome of the procedure, to present an interim report on the proposal to Parliament including a motion for a resolution containing recommendations for modification or implementation of the proposed act.

CHAPTER 10

Deleted

Rule 82

Deleted

CHAPTER 11

Other procedures

Rule 83

Procedure for delivering opinions pursuant to Article 140 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

1.

When Parliament is consulted on Council recommendations pursuant to Article 140(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it shall, after the Council has presented those recommendations in plenary, deliberate on the basis of a proposal submitted orally or in writing by its committee responsible and advocating approval or rejection of the recommendations on which Parliament has been consulted.

2.

Parliament shall then take a single collective vote on the recommendations, to which no amendments may be tabled.

Rule 84

Procedures relating to dialogue between management and labour

1.

Any document drawn up by the Commission pursuant to Article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union or agreements reached by management and labour pursuant to Article 155(1) of the Treaty, and any proposals submitted by the Commission pursuant to Article 155(2) of the Treaty shall be referred by the President to the committee responsible for consideration.

2.

Where management and labour inform the Commission of their wish to initiate the process provided for in Article 155 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the committee responsible may draw up a report on the substantive issue in question.

3.

Where management and labour have reached an agreement and have requested jointly that the agreement be implemented by a Council decision on a proposal from the Commission pursuant to Article 155(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the committee responsible shall table a motion for a resolution recommending the adoption or rejection of the request.

Rule 85

Procedures for scrutiny of voluntary agreements

1.

Where the Commission informs Parliament of its intention to explore the use of voluntary agreements as an alternative to legislation, the committee responsible may draw up a report on the substantive issue in question pursuant to Rule 48.

2.

When the Commission announces that it intends to enter into a voluntary agreement, the committee responsible may table a motion for a resolution recommending approval or rejection of the proposal, and under what conditions.

Rule 86

Codification

1.

When a proposal for codification of Union legislation is submitted to Parliament, it shall be referred to the committee responsible for legal affairs. The latter shall examine it in accordance with the arrangements agreed at interinstitutional level (10) in order to ascertain that it is a straightforward codification, with no changes of a substantive nature.

2.

The committee which was responsible for the acts to be codified may, at its own request or at the request of the committee responsible for legal affairs, be asked to deliver an opinion on the desirability of codification.

3.

Amendments to the text of the proposal shall be inadmissible.

However, at the rapporteur’s request, the Chair of the committee responsible for legal affairs may submit for the latter’s approval, amendments relating to technical adaptations, provided that those adaptations are necessary in order to ensure that the proposal complies with the codification rules and that they do not involve any substantive change to the proposal.

4.

If the committee responsible for legal affairs concludes that the proposal does not entail any substantive change to Union legislation, it shall refer it to Parliament for approval.

If the committee takes the view that the proposal entails a substantive change, it shall propose that Parliament reject the proposal.

In either case, Parliament shall take a decision by means of a single vote, without amendment or debate.

Rule 87

Recasting

1.

When a proposal recasting Union legislation is submitted to Parliament, that proposal shall be referred to the committee responsible for legal affairs and to the committee responsible for the subject-matter.

2.

The committee responsible for legal affairs shall examine the proposal in accordance with the arrangements agreed at interinstitutional level (11) with a view to checking that it entails no substantive changes other than those identified as such in the proposal.

For the purpose of that examination, amendments to the text of the proposal shall be inadmissible. However, the second subparagraph of Rule 86(3) shall apply to provisions which remain unchanged in the recasting proposal.

3.

If the committee responsible for legal affairs considers that the proposal does not entail any substantive changes other than those identified as such in the proposal, it shall inform the committee responsible.

In such a case, over and above the conditions laid down in Rules 156 and 157, amendments shall be admissible within the committee responsible for the subject-matter only if they concern those parts of the proposal which contain changes.

However, if in accordance with point 8 of the Interinstitutional Agreement the committee responsible intends also to submit amendments to the codified parts of the proposal, it shall immediately notify its intention to the Council and to the Commission, and the latter should inform the committee, prior to the vote pursuant to Rule 54, of its position on the amendments and whether or not it intends to withdraw the recast proposal.

4.

If the committee responsible for legal affairs considers that the proposal entails substantive changes other than those which have been identified as such in the proposal, it shall propose that Parliament reject the proposal and shall inform the committee responsible for the subject-matter that it has done so.

In such a case the President shall ask the Commission to withdraw the proposal. If the Commission does so, the President shall hold the procedure to be superfluous and shall inform the Council accordingly. If the Commission does not withdraw its proposal, Parliament shall refer the matter back to the committee responsible for the subject-matter, which shall consider it in accordance with the normal procedure.

Rule 87a

Delegated acts

Where a legislative act delegates to the Commission the power to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of a legislative act, the committee responsible:

shall examine any draft delegated act where it is transmitted to Parliament for scrutiny,

may submit to Parliament in a motion for a resolution any appropriate proposal in accordance with the provisions of the legislative act.

The provisions of Rule 88(1), (2) and (3) shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Rule 88

Implementing measures

1.

When the Commission forwards a draft of implementing measures to Parliament, the President shall refer the draft of measures to the committee responsible for the act from which the implementing measures derive. If the procedure with associated committees was applied with regard to the basic act, the committee responsible shall invite each of the associated committees to state its views orally or by letter.

2.

The Chair of the committee responsible shall set a deadline for Members to propose that the committee object to the draft of measures. If the committee considers it to be appropriate, it may decide to appoint a rapporteur from among its members or permanent substitutes. If the committee objects to the draft of measures, it shall table a motion for a resolution opposing the adoption of the draft of measures which may also indicate the changes that should be made to the draft of measures.

If, within the applicable deadline calculated from the date of receipt of the draft of measures, Parliament adopts such a resolution the President shall ask the Commission to withdraw or amend the draft of measures or submit a proposal under the appropriate legislative procedure.

3.

If there is no part-session before the deadline expires, the right of response shall be deemed to have been delegated to the committee responsible. This response shall take the form of a letter from the committee chair to the Member of the Commission responsible, and shall be brought to the attention of all Members of Parliament.

4.

If the implementing measures envisaged by the Commission fall under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, paragraph 3 shall not apply and paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be supplemented as follows:

(a)

the time for scrutiny shall start to run when the draft of measures has been submitted to Parliament in all the official languages. Where shorter time limits apply (Article 5a(5)(b) of Council Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission) and in cases of urgency (Article 5a(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC), the time for scrutiny shall, unless the Chair of the committee responsible objects, start to run from the date of receipt by Parliament of the final draft implementing measures in the language versions submitted to the members of the committee set up in accordance with Decision 1999/468/EC. Rule 146 shall not apply in this case;

(b)

Parliament, acting by a majority of its component Members, may oppose the adoption of the draft of measures, justifying its opposition by indicating that the draft of measures exceeds the implementing powers provided for in the basic instrument, is not compatible with the aim or the content of the basic instrument or does not respect the principles of subsidiarity or proportionality;

(c)

if the draft of measures is based on paragraph 5 or 6 of Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC, which prescribes curtailed time limits for opposition by Parliament, a motion for a resolution opposing the adoption of the draft of measures may be tabled by the Chair of the committee responsible if that committee has not been able to meet in the time available.

TITLE IIA

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

CHAPTER 12

International agreements

Rule 89

Deleted

Rule 90

International agreements

1.

When it is intended to open negotiations on the conclusion, renewal or amendment of an international agreement, the committee responsible may decide to draw up a report or otherwise monitor the procedure and inform the Conference of Committee Chairs of that decision. Where appropriate, other committees may be asked for an opinion pursuant to Rule 49(1). Rules 188(2), 50 or 51 shall apply where appropriate.

The Chairs and rapporteurs of the committee responsible and of any associated committees shall jointly take appropriate action to ensure that Parliament is provided with immediate, regular and full information, if necessary on a confidential basis, at all stages of the negotiation and conclusion of international agreements, including the draft and the finally adopted text of negotiating directives, and with the information referred to in paragraph 3,

by the Commission in accordance with its obligations under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and its commitments under the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, and

by the Council in accordance with its obligations under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

2.

Parliament may, on a proposal from the committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members, ask the Council not to authorise the opening of negotiations until Parliament has stated its position on the proposed negotiating mandate on the basis of a report from the committee responsible.

3.

The committee responsible shall ascertain from the Commission, at the time when the negotiations are scheduled to start, the chosen legal basis for concluding the international agreements referred to in paragraph 1. The committee responsible shall verify the chosen legal basis in accordance with Rule 37. Where the Commission fails to designate a legal basis, or where there is doubt about its appropriateness, Rule 37 shall apply.

4.

At any stage of the negotiations Parliament may, on the basis of a report from the committee responsible, and after considering any relevant proposal tabled pursuant to Rule 121, adopt recommendations and require them to be taken into account before the conclusion of the international agreement under consideration.

5.

When the negotiations are completed, but before any agreement is signed, the draft agreement shall be submitted to Parliament for its opinion or consent. In the case of the consent procedure Rule 81 shall apply.

6.

Before the vote on the consent is taken, the committee responsible, a political group or at least one tenth of the Members may propose that Parliament seek an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility of an international agreement with the Treaties. If Parliament approves such a proposal, the vote on the consent shall be adjourned until the Court has delivered its opinion.

7.

Parliament shall give its opinion on, or its consent to, the conclusion, renewal or amendment of an international agreement or a financial protocol concluded by the European Union in a single vote by a majority of the votes cast. No amendments to the text of the agreement or protocol shall be admissible.

8.

If the opinion adopted by Parliament is unfavourable, the President shall ask the Council not to conclude the agreement in question.

9.

If Parliament withholds its consent to an international agreement, the President shall inform the Council that the agreement in question cannot be concluded.

Rule 91

Procedures based on Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in the case of the provisional application or suspension of international agreements or the establishment of the Union’s position in a body set up by an international agreement

Where the Commission, in accordance with its obligations under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, informs Parliament and the Council of its intention to propose the provisional application or suspension of an international agreement, a statement shall be made in Parliament, followed by a debate. Parliament may issue recommendations pursuant to Rule 90 or 97.

The same procedure shall apply when the Commission informs Parliament of a proposal concerning the positions to be adopted on the Union’s behalf in a body set up by an international agreement.

CHAPTER 13

External representation of the Union and the common foreign and security policy

Rule 92

Deleted

Rule 93

Special representatives

1.

Where the Council intends to appoint a special representative pursuant to Article 33 of the Treaty on European Union, the President, at the request of the committee responsible, shall invite the Council to make a statement and answer questions concerning the mandate, the objectives and other relevant matters relating to the tasks and role to be performed by the special representative.

2.

Once the special representative has been appointed, but prior to taking up the position, the appointee may be invited to appear before the committee responsible to make a statement and answer questions.

3.

Within 3 months of the hearing, the committee may propose a recommendation pursuant to Rule 121 relating directly to the statement made and answers provided.

4.

The special representative shall be invited to keep Parliament fully and regularly informed as to the practical implementation of the mandate.

5.

A special representative appointed by the Council with a mandate in relation to particular policy issues may be invited by Parliament, or may ask to be invited, to make a statement to the committee responsible.

Rule 94

Deleted

Rule 95

International representation

1.

When the head of a Union external delegation is to be appointed, the nominee may be invited to appear before the relevant body of Parliament to make a statement and answer questions.

2.

Within 3 months of the hearing provided for in paragraph 1, the committee responsible may adopt a resolution or make a recommendation, as appropriate, relating directly to the statement made and the answers provided.

Rule 96

Consultation of, and provision of information to, Parliament within the framework of the common foreign and security policy

1.

When Parliament is consulted pursuant to Article 36 of the Treaty on European Union, the matter shall be referred to the committee responsible which may make recommendations pursuant to Rule 97.

2.

The committees concerned shall seek to ensure that the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy provides them with regular and timely information on the development and implementation of the Union’s common foreign and security policy, on the costs envisaged each time that a decision entailing expenditure is adopted under that policy and on any other financial considerations relating to the implementation of actions under that policy. Exceptionally, at the request of the Vice-President/High Representative, a committee may decide to hold its proceedings in camera.

3.

Twice a year, a debate shall be held on the consultative document drawn up by the Vice-President/High Representative on the main aspects and basic choices of the common foreign and security policy, including the common security and defence policy and the financial implications for the Union budget. The procedures laid down in Rule 110 shall apply.

(See also interpretation under Rule 121.)

4.

The Vice-President/High Representative shall be invited to every plenary debate that involves either foreign, security or defence policy.

Rule 97

Recommendations within the framework of the common foreign and security policy

1.

The committee responsible for the common foreign and security policy may draw up recommendations to the Council in its areas of responsibility after obtaining authorisation from the Conference of Presidents or on a proposal under Rule 121.

2.

In urgent cases the authorisation referred to in paragraph 1 may be granted by the President, who may likewise authorise an emergency meeting of the committee concerned.

3.

During the procedure for adopting these recommendations, which must be put to the vote in the form of a written text, Rule 146 shall not apply and oral amendments shall be admissible.

The non-application of Rule 146 is possible only in committee and only in urgent cases. There may be no departure from the provisions of Rule 146 either in committee meetings not declared to be urgent or in plenary sitting.

The provision stating that oral amendments are admissible means that Members may not object to oral amendments being put to the vote in committee.

4.

Recommendations drawn up in this way shall be included on the agenda for the next part-session. In urgent cases decided upon by the President, recommendations may be included on the agenda for a current part-session. Recommendations shall be deemed adopted unless, before the beginning of the part-session, at least 40 Members submit a written objection, in which case the committee’s recommendations shall be included on the agenda of the same part-session for debate and voting. A political group or at least 40 Members may table amendments.

Rule 98

Breach of human rights

At each part-session, without requiring authorisation, the committees responsible may each table a motion for a resolution under the same procedure as laid down in Rule 97(4) concerning cases of breaches of human rights.

CHAPTER 14

Deleted

Rule 99

Deleted

Rule 100

Deleted

Rule 101

Deleted

CHAPTER 15

Deleted

Rule 102

Deleted

TITLE III

TRANSPARENCY OF BUSINESS

Rule 103

Transparency of Parliament’s activities

1.

Parliament shall ensure that its activities are conducted with the utmost transparency, in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 1 of the Treaty on European Union, Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

2.

Debates in Parliament shall be public.

3.

Committees shall normally meet in public. They may, however, decide, at the latest when the agenda for a meeting is adopted, to divide that agenda into items open to the public and items closed to the public. However, if a meeting is held in camera, the committee may, subject to Article 4(1) to (4) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council, open documents and minutes from the meeting to public access. Rule 153 shall apply in the event of any breach of the rules governing confidentiality.

4.

Consideration by the committee responsible of requests relating to procedures on immunity under Rule 7 shall always take place in camera.

Rule 104

Public access to documents

1.

Any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State has a right of access to Parliament documents in accordance with Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, subject to the principles, conditions and limits laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council and pursuant to the specific provisions contained in these Rules of Procedure.

Access to Parliament documents shall as far as possible be granted to other natural or legal persons in the same way.

Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 shall be published for information alongside the Rules of Procedure.

2.

For the purposes of access to documents, the term ‘Parliament documents’ means any content within the meaning of Article 3(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 which has been drawn up or received by officers of Parliament within the meaning of Title I, Chapter 2, of these Rules, by Parliament’s governing bodies, committees or interparliamentary delegations, or by Parliament’s Secretariat.

Documents drawn up by individual Members or political groups are Parliament documents for the purposes of access to documents if they are tabled under the Rules of Procedure.

The Bureau shall lay down rules to ensure that all Parliament documents are registered.

3.

Parliament shall establish a register of Parliament documents. Legislative documents and certain other categories of documents shall, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, be made directly accessible through the register. References to other Parliament documents shall as far as possible be included in the register.

Categories of documents which are directly accessible shall be set out in a list adopted by the Bureau and published on Parliament’s website. This list shall not restrict the right of access to documents not falling within the categories listed; those documents shall be made available on written application.

The Bureau may adopt rules, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, laying down arrangements for access which shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

4.

The Bureau shall designate the bodies responsible for handling initial applications (Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001) and shall adopt decisions on confirmatory applications (Article 8 of the Regulation) and applications for sensitive documents (Article 9 of the Regulation).

5.

The Conference of Presidents shall designate Parliament’s representatives on the interinstitutional committee established pursuant to Article 15(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.

6.

One of the Vice-Presidents shall be responsible for supervising the handling of applications for access to documents.

7.

Parliament’s committee responsible shall, on the basis of information provided by the Bureau and drawn from other sources, prepare the annual report referred to in Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 and submit it to the plenary.

The committee responsible shall also examine and evaluate the reports adopted by the other institutions and agencies in accordance with Article 17 of the Regulation.

TITLE IV

RELATIONS WITH OTHER BODIES

CHAPTER 1

Appointments

Rule 105

Election of the President of the Commission

1.

When the European Council proposes a candidate for President of the Commission, the President shall request the candidate to make a statement and present his or her political guidelines to Parliament. The statement shall be followed by a debate.

The European Council shall be invited to take part in the debate.

2.

Parliament shall elect the President of the Commission by a majority of its component Members.

The vote shall be taken by secret ballot.

3.

If the candidate is elected, the President shall inform the Council accordingly, asking it and the President-elect of the Commission to propose by common accord the nominees for the various posts of Commissioners.

4.

If the candidate does not obtain the required majority, the President shall invite the European Council to propose a new candidate within 1 month for election in accordance with the same procedure.

Rule 106

Election of the Commission

1.

The President shall, after consulting the President-elect of the Commission, request the nominees proposed by the President-elect of the Commission and by the Council for the various posts of Commissioner to appear before the appropriate committees according to their prospective fields of responsibility. These hearings shall be held in public.

2.

The appropriate committee or committees shall invite the Commissioner-designate to make a statement and answer questions. The hearings shall be organised in such a way as to enable Commissioners-designate to disclose to Parliament all relevant information. Provisions relating to the organisation of the hearings shall be laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure (12).

3.

The President-elect shall present the college of Commissioners and their programme at a sitting of Parliament which the whole Council shall be invited to attend. The statement shall be followed by a debate.

4.

In order to wind up the debate, any political group or at least 40 Members may table a motion for a resolution. Rule 110(3), (4) and (5) shall apply.

Following the vote on the motion for a resolution, Parliament shall elect or reject the Commission by a majority of the votes cast.

The vote shall be taken by roll call.

Parliament may defer the vote until the next sitting.

5.

The President shall inform the Council of the election or rejection of the Commission.

6.

In the event of a substantial portfolio change during the Commission’s term of office, the filling of a vacancy or the appointment of a new Commissioner following the accession of a new Member State, the Commissioners concerned shall be invited to appear before the committees responsible for the areas of responsibility in question in accordance with paragraph 2.

Rule 107

Motion of censure on the Commission

1.

A motion of censure on the Commission may be submitted to the President by one tenth of the component Members of Parliament.

2.

The motion shall be called ‘motion of censure’ and supported by reasons. It shall be forwarded to the Commission.

3.

The President shall announce to Members that a motion of censure has been tabled immediately after receiving it.

4.

The debate on censure shall not take place until at least 24 hours after the receipt of a motion of censure is announced to Members.

5.

The vote on the motion shall be by roll call and shall not be taken until at least 48 hours after the beginning of the debate.

6.

The debate and the vote shall take place, at the latest, during the part-session following the submission of the motion.

7.

The motion of censure shall be adopted if it secures a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, representing a majority of the component Members of Parliament. The President of the Council and the President of the Commission shall be notified of the result of the vote.

Rule 107a

Nomination of Judges and Advocates-General at the Court of Justice of the European Union

On a proposal of its committee responsible, Parliament shall appoint its nominee to the panel of seven persons charged with scrutinising the suitability of candidates to hold the office of Judge or Advocate-General of the Court of Justice and the General Court.

Rule 108

Appointment of the Members of the Court of Auditors

1.

Candidates nominated as Members of the Court of Auditors shall be invited to make a statement before the committee responsible and to answer questions put by members. The committee shall vote on each nomination separately by secret ballot.

2.

The committee responsible shall make a recommendation to Parliament, in the form of a report containing a separate proposal for a decision on each nomination as to whether the nomination should be approved.

3.

The vote in plenary shall take place within 2 months of receipt of the nomination unless Parliament, at the request of the committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members, decides otherwise. Parliament shall vote on each nomination separately by secret ballot and shall take its decision by a majority of the votes cast.

4.

If the opinion adopted by Parliament on an individual nomination is unfavourable, the President shall ask the Council to withdraw its nomination and to submit a new nomination to Parliament.

Rule 109

Appointment of the Members of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank

1.

The candidate nominated as President of the European Central Bank shall be invited to make a statement before the committee responsible and to answer questions put by members.

2.

The committee responsible shall make a recommendation to Parliament as to whether the nomination should be approved.

3.

The vote shall take place within 2 months of receipt of the nomination unless Parliament, at the request of the committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members, decides otherwise.

4.

If the opinion adopted by Parliament is unfavourable, the President shall ask the Council to withdraw its nomination and to submit a new nomination to Parliament.

5.

The same procedure shall apply for nominations for Vice-President and other Executive Board Members of the European Central Bank.

CHAPTER 2

Statements

Rule 110

Statements by the Commission, Council and European Council

1.

Members of the Commission, the Council and the European Council may at any time ask the President of Parliament for permission to make a statement. The President of the European Council shall make a statement after each of its meetings. The President of Parliament shall decide when the statement may be made and whether it is to be followed by a full debate or by 30 minutes of brief and concise questions from Members.

2.

When placing a statement with debate on its agenda, Parliament shall decide whether or not to wind up the debate with a resolution. It shall not do so if a report on the same matter is scheduled for the same or the next part-session, unless the President, for exceptional reasons, proposes otherwise. If Parliament decides to wind up a debate with a resolution, a committee, a political group or at least 40 Members may table a motion for a resolution.

3.

Motions for resolutions shall be put to the vote on the same day. The President shall decide on any exceptions. Explanations of vote shall be admissible.

4.

A joint motion for a resolution shall replace the motions for resolutions tabled previously by its signatories, but not those tabled by other committees, political groups or Members.

5.

After a resolution has been adopted, no further motions may be put to the vote unless the President, exceptionally, decides otherwise.

Rule 111

Statements explaining Commission decisions

After consulting the Conference of Presidents, the President may invite the President of the Commission, the Commissioner responsible for relations with the European Parliament or, by agreement, another Commissioner, to make a statement to Parliament after each meeting of the Commission, explaining the main decisions taken. The statement shall be followed by a debate of at least 30 minutes in which Members may put brief and concise questions.

Rule 112

Statements by the Court of Auditors

1.

In the context of the discharge procedure or of Parliament’s activities in the sphere of budgetary control, the President of the Court of Auditors may be invited to take the floor in order to present the comments contained in the Annual Report, special reports or opinions of the Court, or in order to explain the Court’s work programme.

2.

Parliament may decide to hold a separate debate on any questions raised in such statements with the participation of the Commission and Council, in particular when irregularities in financial management have been reported.

Rule 113

Statements by the European Central Bank

1.

The President of the European Central Bank shall present to Parliament the Bank’s Annual Report on the activities of the European System of Central Banks and on the monetary policy of both the previous and the current year.

2.

This presentation shall be followed by a general debate.

3.

The President of the European Central Bank shall be invited to attend meetings of the committee responsible at least four times a year in order to make a statement and to answer questions.

4.

If they or Parliament so request, the President, Vice-President and other Members of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank shall be invited to attend additional meetings.

5.

A verbatim report of the proceedings under paragraphs 3 and 4 shall be drawn up in the official languages.

Rule 114

Recommendation on the broad guidelines of economic policies

1.

The recommendation from the Commission on the broad guidelines of the economic policies of the Member States and the Union shall be presented to the committee responsible which shall submit a report to Parliament.

2.

The Council shall be invited to inform Parliament of the content of its recommendation, and of the position taken by the European Council.

CHAPTER 3

Parliamentary questions

Rule 115

Questions for oral answer with debate

1.

Questions may be put to the Council or the Commission by a committee, a political group or at least 40 Members with a request that they be placed on the agenda of Parliament.

Such questions shall be submitted in writing to the President who shall immediately refer them to the Conference of Presidents.

The Conference of Presidents shall decide whether and in what order questions should be placed on the agenda. Questions not placed on Parliament’s agenda within 3 months of being submitted shall lapse.

2.

Questions to the Commission must be referred to that institution at least 1 week before the sitting on whose agenda they are to appear and questions to the Council at least 3 weeks before that date.

3.

Where the questions concern matters referred to in Article 42 of the Treaty on European Union, the time limit provided for in paragraph 2 of this Rule shall not apply, and the Council must reply sufficiently promptly to keep Parliament properly informed.

4.

One of the questioners may move the question for 5 minutes. One member of the institution concerned shall answer.

The author of the question is entitled to use the whole period of speaking time mentioned.

5.

Rule 110(2) to (5) shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Rule 116

Question Time

1.

Question Time with the Council and the Commission shall be held at each part-session at times decided by Parliament on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents.

2.

No Member may put more than one question to the Council and one question to the Commission at any given part-session.

3.

Questions shall be submitted in writing to the President, who shall rule on their admissibility and on the order in which they are to be taken. The questioner shall be notified immediately of this decision.

4.

The detailed procedure shall be governed by guidelines laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure (13).

5.

In accordance with guidelines established by the Conference of Presidents, specific question hours may be held with the President of the Commission, with the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and with the President of the Eurogroup.

Rule 117

Questions for written answer

1.

Any Member may put questions for written answer to the President of the European Council, the Council, the Commission or the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in accordance with guidelines laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure (14). The content of questions shall be the sole responsibility of their authors.

2.

Questions shall be submitted in writing to the President who shall forward them to the addressees. Doubts concerning the admissibility of a question shall be settled by the President. The questioner shall be notified of his decision.

3.

If a question cannot be answered within the time limit set it shall, at the request of the author, be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the committee responsible. Rule 116 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

4.

Questions which require an immediate answer but not detailed research (priority questions) shall be answered within 3 weeks of being forwarded to the addressees. Each Member may table one priority question each month.

Other questions (non-priority questions) shall be answered within 6 weeks of being forwarded to the addressees.

Members shall indicate which type of question they are submitting. The final decision shall be taken by the President.

5.

Questions and answers shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Rule 118

Questions for written answer to the European Central Bank

1.

Any Member may put questions for written answer to the European Central Bank in accordance with guidelines laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure (15).

2.

Such questions shall be submitted in writing to the Chair of the committee responsible, who shall forward them to the European Central Bank.

3.

The questions and answers shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

4.

If a question has not received a reply by the required deadline, it shall be included at the request of its author, on the agenda for the next meeting of the committee responsible with the President of the European Central Bank.

CHAPTER 4

Reports of other institutions

Rule 119

Annual and other reports of other institutions

1.

Annual and other reports of other institutions on which the Treaties provide for consultation of the European Parliament or other legal provisions require an opinion by the European Parliament shall be dealt with in a report submitted to the plenary.

2.

Annual and other reports of other institutions not covered by paragraph 1 shall be referred to the committee responsible, which may propose drawing up a report under Rule 48.

CHAPTER 5

Resolutions and recommendations

Rule 120

Motions for resolutions

1.

Any Member may table a motion for a resolution on a matter falling within the spheres of activity of the European Union.

The motion may not comprise more than 200 words.

2.

The committee responsible shall decide what procedure is to be adopted.

It may combine the motion for a resolution with other motions for resolutions or reports.

It may adopt an opinion, which may take the form of a letter.

It may decide to draw up a report under Rule 48.

3.

The authors of a motion for a resolution shall be informed of the decisions of the committee and of the Conference of Presidents.

4.

The report shall contain the text of the motion for a resolution.

5.

Opinions in the form of a letter addressed to other institutions of the European Union shall be forwarded by the President.

6.

The author or authors of a motion for a resolution tabled under Rule 110(2), 115(5) or 122(2) shall be entitled to withdraw it before the final vote.

7.

A motion for a resolution tabled in accordance with paragraph 1 may be withdrawn by its author, authors or first signatory before the committee responsible has decided, in accordance with paragraph 2, to draw up a report on it.

Once the motion has been thus taken over by the committee, only the committee shall be empowered to withdraw it up until the opening of the final vote.

8.

A withdrawn motion for a resolution may be taken over and retabled immediately by a group, a committee or the same number of Members as is entitled to table it.

Committees have a duty to ensure that motions for resolutions tabled under this Rule which meet the requirements laid down are followed up and duly referred to in the resulting documents.

Rule 121

Recommendations to the Council

1.

A political group or at least 40 Members may table a proposal for a recommendation to the Council on subjects under Title V of the Treaty on European Union, or in cases where Parliament has not been consulted on an international agreement falling within the scope of Rules 90 or 91.

2.

Such proposals shall be referred to the committee responsible for consideration.

Where appropriate, the committee shall refer the matter to Parliament in accordance with the procedures laid down in these Rules.

3.

If it presents a report, the committee responsible shall submit to Parliament a proposal for a recommendation to the Council, together with a brief explanatory statement and, where appropriate, the opinions of the committees consulted.

No prior authorisation from the Conference of Presidents is required for the application of this paragraph.

4.

The provisions of Rule 97 shall apply.

Rule 122

Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

1.

A committee, an interparliamentary delegation, a political group or at least 40 Members may ask the President in writing for a debate to be held on an urgent case of a breach of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 137(3)).

2.

The Conference of Presidents shall draw up a list of subjects to be included in the final draft agenda for the next debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the basis of the requests referred to in paragraph 1 and in accordance with the provisions of Annex IV. The total number of subjects included in the agenda shall not exceed three, including sub-chapters.

In accordance with Rule 140, Parliament may abandon a topic due to be debated and replace it with an unscheduled topic. Motions for resolutions on the subjects chosen shall be tabled by the evening of the day on which the agenda is adopted. The President shall set the precise deadline for tabling such motions for resolutions.

3.

The total speaking time for the political groups and non-attached Members shall be allocated in accordance with the procedure laid down in Rule 149(4) and (5) within the maximum time for debates of 60 minutes per part-session.

Any time remaining after deducting the time required to introduce and vote on the motions for resolutions and any speaking time allocated to the Commission and Council shall be divided among the political groups and the non-attached Members.

4.

At the end of the debate there shall be an immediate vote. Rule 170 shall not apply.

Votes taken under this Rule may be organised on a collective basis under the responsibility of the President and the Conference of Presidents.

5.

If two or more motions for resolutions are tabled on the same subject, the procedure set out in Rule 110(4) shall apply.

6.

The President and political group Chairs may decide that a motion for a resolution will be put to the vote without debate. Such a decision shall require the unanimous assent of all the political group Chairs.

The provisions of Rules 174, 175 and 177 do not apply to motions for resolutions included on the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Motions for resolutions are tabled for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law only after the list of subjects has been adopted. Motions for resolutions that cannot be dealt with in the time allocated to the debate shall lapse. The same applies to motions for resolutions in respect of which it is established, following a request under Rule 155(3), that a quorum is not present. Members are entitled to retable such motions either for consideration in committee under Rule 120 or for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law at the next part-session.

A subject may not be included on the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law if it is already on the agenda for that part-session.

There are no provisions in the Rules to allow a joint debate on a motion for a resolution tabled in accordance with paragraph 2, second subparagraph, and a committee report on the same subject.

* * *

When a request is made under Rule 155(3) that it be established whether a quorum is present, this request shall be valid only for the motion for a resolution which is to be put to the vote and not for those which follow.

Rule 123

Written declarations

1.

Up to five Members may submit a written declaration of not more than 200 words on a matter falling within the competence of the European Union which does not cover issues that are the subject of an ongoing legislative process. Authorisation shall be given by the President on a case-by-case basis. Written declarations shall be printed in the official languages and distributed. They shall be entered with the names of the signatories, in a register. This register shall be public and shall be kept outside the entrance to the Chamber during part-sessions and in an appropriate location, to be determined by the College of Quaestors, between part-sessions.

The contents of a written declaration may not go beyond the form of a declaration and may not, in particular, contain any decision on matters for which specific procedures and competences are laid down in these Rules of Procedure.

2.

The signature of any Member may be added to a declaration entered in the register.

3.

Where a declaration is signed by a majority of Parliament’s component Members, the President shall notify Parliament accordingly and publish the names of the signatories in the minutes and the declaration as a text adopted.

4.

The procedure shall be closed by the forwarding to the addressees, at the end of the part-session, of the declaration, together with the names of the signatories.

5.

A written declaration that has remained in the register for over 3 months and has not been signed by at least one half of the component Members of Parliament shall lapse.

Rule 124

Consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee

1.

Where the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee, the President shall initiate the consultation procedure and inform Parliament thereof.

2.

A committee may request that the European Economic and Social Committee be consulted on matters of a general nature or on specific points.

The committee shall indicate the deadline for delivery by the European Economic and Social Committee of its opinion.

A request for consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee shall be approved by Parliament without debate.

3.

Opinions forwarded by the European Economic and Social Committee shall be referred to the committee responsible.

Rule 125

Consultation of the Committee of the Regions

1.

Where the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for consultation of the Committee of the Regions, the President shall initiate the consultation procedure and inform Parliament thereof.

2.

A committee may request that the Committee of the Regions be consulted on matters of a general nature or on specific points.

The committee shall indicate the deadline for delivery by the Committee of the Regions of its opinion.

A request for consultation of the Committee of the Regions shall be approved by Parliament without debate.

3.

Opinions forwarded by the Committee of the Regions shall be referred to the committee responsible.

Rule 126

Requests to European Agencies

1.

In cases where Parliament has the right to submit a request to a European Agency, any Member may submit such a request in writing to the President of Parliament. Such requests shall be on matters falling within the mission of the Agency concerned and shall be accompanied by background information explaining the issue and the Union interest.

2.

The President shall, after consulting the committee responsible, either forward the request to the Agency or take any other appropriate course of action. The Member submitting the request shall be notified immediately. Any request sent by the President to an Agency shall include a time limit for response.

3.

If the Agency considers that it is unable to respond to the request as formulated, or seeks to have it modified, it shall forthwith inform the President, who shall take any appropriate action, after consulting the committee responsible as necessary.

CHAPTER 6

Interinstitutional agreements

Rule 127

Interinstitutional agreements

1.

Parliament may enter into agreements with other institutions in the context of the application of the Treaties or in order to improve or clarify procedures.

Such agreements may take the form of joint declarations, exchanges of letters, codes of conduct or other appropriate instruments. They shall be signed by the President after examination by the committee responsible for constitutional affairs and after approval by Parliament. They may be annexed to the Rules of Procedure for information.

2.

Where such agreements necessitate changes to existing procedural rights or obligations or establish new procedural rights or obligations for Members or bodies of Parliament, or otherwise necessitate amendment or interpretation of the Rules of Procedure, the matter shall be referred to the committee responsible for its consideration in accordance with Rule 211(2) to (6) before the agreement is signed.

CHAPTER 7

Referrals to the Court of Justice of the European Union

Rule 128

Proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union

1.

Parliament shall, within the time limits specified by the Treaties and the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union for action by the institutions of the Union and by natural or legal persons, examine Union legislation and its implementing measures in order to ensure that the Treaties have been fully complied with, in particular where Parliament’s rights are concerned.

2.

The committee responsible shall report to Parliament, orally if necessary, if it suspects a breach of Union law.

3.

The President shall bring an action on behalf of Parliament in accordance with the recommendation of the committee responsible.

At the start of the following part-session, the President may ask the plenary to decide whether the action should be maintained. Should plenary rule against the action by a majority of the votes cast, he shall withdraw it.

Should the President bring an action contrary to the recommendation of the committee responsible, he shall, at the start of the following part-session, ask the plenary to decide whether the action should be maintained.

4.

The President shall submit observations or intervene in court proceedings on behalf of Parliament after consulting the committee responsible.

If the President intends to depart from the recommendation of the committee responsible, he shall inform the committee accordingly and shall refer the matter to the Conference of Presidents, stating his reasons.

If the Conference of Presidents takes the view that Parliament should, exceptionally, not submit observations or intervene before the Court of Justice of the European Union where the legal validity of an act of Parliament is being questioned, the matter shall be submitted to plenary without delay.

In urgent cases, the President may take precautionary action in order to comply with the time limits prescribed by the court concerned. In such cases, the procedure provided for in this paragraph shall be implemented at the earliest opportunity.

Nothing in the Rules prevents the committee responsible from deciding on appropriate procedural arrangements for the timely transmission of its recommendation in urgent cases.

Rule 90(6) of the Rules of Procedure lays down a specific procedure by means of which Parliament can take a decision on whether to exercise its prerogative, pursuant to Article 218(11) TFEU, to seek an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility of an international agreement with the Treaties; that provision constitutes a ‘lex specialis’ which takes precedence over the general provision laid down in Rule 128 of the Rules of Procedure.

When a decision must be taken as to whether Parliament should exercise its rights vis-à-vis the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the act in question is not covered by Rule 128 of the Rules of Procedure, the procedure provided for in this rule should apply, mutatis mutandis.

Rule 129

Deleted

TITLE V

RELATIONS WITH NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS

Rule 130

Exchange of information, contacts and reciprocal facilities

1.

Parliament shall keep the national parliaments of the Member States regularly informed of its activities.

2.

The organisation and promotion of effective and regular interparliamentary cooperation within the Union, pursuant to Article 9 of the Protocol on the role of national parliaments in the European Union, shall be negotiated on the basis of a mandate given by the Conference of Presidents, after consultation of the Conference of Committee Chairs.

Parliament shall approve any agreements on such matters in accordance with the procedure set out in Rule 127.

3.

A committee may directly engage in a dialogue with national parliaments at committee level within the limits of budgetary appropriations set aside for this purpose. This may include appropriate forms of pre-legislative and post-legislative cooperation.

4.

Any document concerning a legislative procedure at Union level which is officially transmitted by a national parliament to the European Parliament shall be forwarded to the committee responsible for the subject-matter dealt with in that document.

5.

The Conference of Presidents may give a mandate to the President to negotiate facilities for the national parliaments of the Member States, on a reciprocal basis, and to propose any other measures to facilitate contacts with the national parliaments.

Rule 131

Conference of European Affairs Committees (COSAC)

1.

On a proposal from the President, the Conference of Presidents shall name the members of, and may confer a mandate on, Parliament’s delegation to COSAC. The delegation shall be headed by a Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for implementation of relations with the national parliaments and by the Chair of the committee responsible for institutional matters.

2.

The other members of the delegation shall be chosen in the light of the subjects to be discussed at the COSAC meeting and shall comprise, as far as possible, representatives of the committees responsible for those subjects. A report shall be submitted by the delegation after each meeting.

3.

Due account shall be taken of the overall political balance within Parliament.

Rule 132

Conferences of parliaments

The Conference of Presidents shall designate the members of Parliament’s delegation to any conference or similar body involving representatives of parliaments and shall confer a mandate upon it that conforms to any relevant Parliament resolutions. The delegation shall elect its Chair and, where appropriate, one or more Vice-Chairs.

TITLE VI

SESSIONS

CHAPTER 1

Sessions of Parliament

Rule 133

Parliamentary term, sessions, part-sessions, sittings

1.

The parliamentary term shall run concurrently with the term of office of Members provided for in the Act of 20 September 1976.

2.

The session shall be the annual period prescribed by the Act and the Treaties.

3.

The part-session shall be the meeting of Parliament convened as a rule each month and subdivided into daily sittings.

Sittings of Parliament held on the same day shall be deemed to be a single sitting.

Rule 134

Convening of Parliament

1.

Parliament shall meet, without requiring to be convened, on the second Tuesday in March each year and shall itself determine the duration of adjournments of the session.

2.

Parliament shall in addition meet, without requiring to be convened on the first Tuesday after expiry of an interval of 1 month from the end of the period referred to in Article 10(1) of the Act of 20 September 1976.

3.

The Conference of Presidents, stating its reasons, may alter the duration of adjournments decided pursuant to paragraph 1 at least 2 weeks before the date previously fixed by Parliament for resuming the session; the date of resumption shall not, however, be postponed for more than 2 weeks.

4.

Exceptionally, after consulting the Conference of Presidents, the President shall convene Parliament at the request of a majority of its component Members or at the request of the Commission or the Council.

Exceptionally, with the approval of the Conference of Presidents, the President may convene Parliament in cases of urgency.

Rule 135

Venue of sittings and meetings

1.

Parliament shall hold its sittings and its committee meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties.

Proposals for additional part-sessions in Brussels and any amendments thereto will require only a majority of the votes cast.

2.

Any committee may decide to ask for one or more meetings to be held elsewhere. Its request supported by reasons, shall be made to the President, who shall place it before the Bureau. If the matter is urgent, the President may take the decision himself. Should the request be rejected by the Bureau or the President the reasons for the rejection shall be stated.

Rule 136

Attendance of Members at sittings

1.

An attendance register shall be open for signature by Members at each sitting.

2.

The names of the Members present, as shown in the attendance register, shall be recorded in the minutes of each sitting.

CHAPTER 2

Order of business of Parliament

Rule 137

Draft agenda

1.

Before each part-session the draft agenda shall be drawn up by the Conference of Presidents on the basis of recommendations by the Conference of Committee Chairs taking into account the agreed Commission Work Programme referred to in Rule 35.

The Commission and the Council may, at the invitation of the President attend the deliberations of the Conference of Presidents on the draft agenda.

2.

The draft agenda may indicate voting times for certain items down for consideration.

3.

One or two periods, together totalling a maximum of 60 minutes, may be set aside in the draft agenda for debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law pursuant to Rule 122.

4.

The final draft agenda shall be distributed to Members at least 3 hours before the beginning of the part-session.

Rule 138

Procedure in plenary without amendment and debate

1.

Any proposal for a legislative act (first reading) and any non-legislative motion for a resolution adopted in committee with fewer than one tenth of the members of the committee voting against shall be placed on the draft agenda of Parliament for vote without amendment.

The item shall then be subject to a single vote unless, before the drawing up of the final draft agenda, political groups or individual Members who together constitute one tenth of the Members of Parliament have requested in writing that the item be open to amendment, in which case the President shall set a deadline for tabling amendments.

2.

Items placed on the final draft agenda for vote without amendment shall also be without debate unless Parliament, when adopting its agenda at the start of a part-session, decides otherwise on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents or at the request of a political group or at least 40 Members.

3.

When drawing up the final draft agenda for a part-session, the Conference of Presidents may propose that other items be taken without amendment or without debate. When adopting its agenda, Parliament may not accept any such proposal if a political group or at least 40 Members have tabled their opposition in writing at least 1 hour before the opening of the part-session.

4.

When an item is taken without debate, the rapporteur or the Chair of the committee responsible may make a statement lasting no more than 2 minutes immediately prior to the vote.

Rule 139

Short presentation

At the request of the rapporteur or on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, Parliament may also decide that an item not needing a full debate will be dealt with by means of a short presentation in plenary by the rapporteur. In that event, the Commission shall have the opportunity to respond, followed by up to 10 minutes of debate in which the President may give the floor, for up to 1 minute each, to Members who catch his eye.

Rule 140

Adopting and amending the agenda

1.

At the beginning of each part-session, Parliament shall take a decision on the final draft agenda. Amendments may be proposed by a committee, a political group or at least 40 Members. Any such proposals must be received by the President at least 1 hour before the opening of the part-session. The President may give the floor to the mover, one speaker in favour and one speaker against, in each case for not more than 1 minute.

2.

Once adopted, the agenda may not be amended, except in pursuance of Rules 142 or 174 to 178 or on a proposal from the President.

If a procedural motion to amend the agenda is rejected, it may not be tabled again during the same part-session.

3.

Before closing the sitting, the President shall announce the date, time and agenda of the next sitting.

Rule 141

Extraordinary debate

1.

A political group or at least 40 Members may request that an extraordinary debate on a matter of major interest relating to European Union policy be placed on Parliament’s agenda. As a rule, no more than one extraordinary debate shall be held during each part-session.

2.

The request shall be submitted to the President in writing at least 3 hours prior to the start of the part-session at which the extraordinary debate is to take place. The vote on this request shall be taken at the start of the part-session when Parliament adopts its agenda.

3.

In response to events that take place after the adoption of the agenda for a part-session, the President, after consulting the Chairs of the political groups, may propose an extraordinary debate. Any such proposal shall be voted on at the start of a sitting or at a scheduled voting time, the Members having been notified of it at least 1 hour beforehand.

4.

The President shall determine the time at which such a debate is to be held. The overall duration of the debate shall not exceed 60 minutes. Speaking time shall be allocated to the political groups and the non-attached Members in accordance with Rule 149(4) and (5).

5.

The debate shall be wound up without the adoption of a resolution.

Rule 142

Urgent procedure

1.

A request that a debate on a proposal on which Parliament has been consulted pursuant to Rule 43(1) be treated as urgent may be made to Parliament by the President, a committee, a political group, at least 40 Members, the Commission or the Council. This request shall be made in writing and supported by reasons.

2.

As soon as the President has received a request for urgent debate this shall be announced to Parliament. The vote on the request shall be taken at the beginning of the sitting following that during which the announcement was made, provided that the proposal to which the request relates has been distributed in the official languages. Where there are several requests for urgent debate on the same subject, the approval or rejection of the request for urgent debate shall apply to all the requests on the same subject.

3.

Before the vote, only the mover, one speaker in favour, one speaker against, and the Chair and/or rapporteur of the committee responsible may be heard, in each case for no more than 3 minutes.

4.

Questions to be dealt with by urgent procedure shall be given priority over other items on the agenda. The President shall determine the time of the debate and vote.

5.

An urgent debate may be held without a report or, exceptionally, on the basis of an oral report by the committee responsible.

Rule 143

Joint debate

A decision may be taken at any time to debate similar or factually related items of business jointly.

Rule 144

Time limits

Except in the cases of urgency referred to in Rules 122 and 142, a debate and vote shall not be opened on a text unless it has been distributed at least 24 hours earlier.

CHAPTER 3

General rules for the conduct of sittings

Rule 145

Access to the Chamber

1.

No person may enter the Chamber except Members of Parliament, Members of the Commission or Council, the Secretary-General of Parliament, members of staff whose duties require their presence there, and experts or officials of the European Union.

2.

Only holders of an admission card duly issued by the President or Secretary-General of Parliament shall be admitted to the galleries.

3.

Members of the public admitted to the galleries shall remain seated and keep silent. Any person expressing approval or disapproval shall immediately be ejected by the ushers.

Rule 146

Languages

1.

All documents of Parliament shall be drawn up in the official languages.

2.

All Members shall have the right to speak in Parliament in the official language of their choice. Speeches delivered in one of the official languages shall be simultaneously interpreted into the other official languages and into any other language the Bureau may consider necessary.

3.

Interpretation shall be provided in committee and delegation meetings from and into the official languages used and requested by the members and substitutes of that committee or delegation.

4.

At committee and delegation meetings away from the usual places of work interpretation shall be provided from and into the languages of those members who have confirmed that they will attend the meeting. These arrangements may exceptionally be made more flexible where the members of the committee or delegation so agree. In the event of disagreement, the Bureau shall decide.

Where it has been established after the result of a vote has been announced that there are discrepancies between different language versions, the President decides whether the result announced is valid pursuant to Rule 171(5). If he declares the result valid, he must decide which version is to be regarded as having been adopted. However, the original version cannot be taken as the official text as a general rule, since a situation may arise in which all the other languages differ from the original text.

Rule 147

Transitional arrangement

1.

During a transitional period expiring at the end of the seventh parliamentary term (16), derogations from Rule 146 shall be permissible if and to the extent that, despite adequate precautions, interpreters or translators for an official language are not available in sufficient numbers.

2.

The Bureau, on a proposal from the Secretary-General, shall ascertain with respect to each of the official languages concerned whether the conditions set out in paragraph 1 are fulfilled, and shall review its decision at 6-monthly intervals on the basis of a progress report from the Secretary-General. The Bureau shall adopt the necessary implementing rules.

3.

The temporary special arrangements adopted by the Council on the basis of the Treaties concerning the drafting of legal acts, with the exception of regulations adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council, shall apply.

4.

On a reasoned recommendation from the Bureau, Parliament may decide at any time to repeal this Rule early or, at the end of the period indicated in paragraph 1, to extend it.

Rule 148

Distribution of documents

Documents forming the basis for Parliament’s debates and decisions shall be printed and distributed to Members. A list of these documents shall be published in the minutes of Parliament’s sittings.

Without prejudice to the application of the first paragraph, Members and political groups shall have direct access to the European Parliament’s internal computer system for the consultation of any non-confidential preparatory document (draft report, draft recommendation, draft opinion, working document, amendments tabled in committee).

Rule 149

Allocation of speaking time and list of speakers

1.

The Conference of Presidents may propose to Parliament that speaking time be allocated for a particular debate. Parliament shall decide on this proposal without debate.

2.

Members may not speak unless called upon to do so by the President. Members shall speak from their places and shall address the President. If speakers depart from the subject, the President shall call them to order.

3.

The President may draw up, for the first part of a particular debate, a list of speakers that includes one or more rounds of speakers from each political group wishing to speak, in the order of their size, and one non-attached Member.

4.

Speaking time for this part of a debate shall be allocated in accordance with the following criteria:

(a)

a first fraction of speaking time shall be divided equally among all the political groups;

(b)

a further fraction shall be divided among the political groups in proportion to the total number of their members;

(c)

the non-attached Members shall be allocated an overall speaking time based on the fractions allocated to each political group under points (a) and (b).

5.

Where a total speaking time is allocated for several items on the agenda, the political groups shall inform the President of the fraction of their speaking time to be used for each individual item. The President shall ensure that these speaking times are respected.

6.

The remaining part of the time for a debate shall not be specifically allocated in advance. Instead, the President shall call on Members to speak, as a general rule for no more than 1 minute. The President shall ensure – as far as possible – that speakers holding different political views and from different Member States are heard in turn.

7.

On request priority may be given to the Chair or rapporteur of the committee responsible and to the Chairs of political groups who wish to speak on their groups’ behalf, or to speakers deputising for them.

8.

The President may give the floor to Members who indicate, by raising a blue card, their wish to put to another Member, during that Member’s speech, a question of no longer than half a minute’s duration, if the speaker agrees and if the President is satisfied that this will not lead to a disruption of the debate.

9.

No Member may speak for more than 1 minute on any of the following: the minutes of the sitting, procedural motions, or amendments to the final draft agenda or the agenda.

10.

Without prejudice to his other disciplinary powers, the President may cause to be deleted from the verbatim reports of debates of sittings the speeches of Members who have not been called upon to speak or who continue to speak beyond the time allotted to them.

11.

In the debate on a report the Commission and the Council shall as a rule be heard immediately after its presentation by the rapporteur. The Commission, the Council and the rapporteur may be heard again, in particular in order to respond to the statements made by Members.

12.

Members who have not spoken in a debate may, at most once per part-session, hand in a written statement of not more than 200 words, which shall be appended to the verbatim report of the debate.

13.

Without prejudice to Article 230 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the President shall seek to reach an understanding with the Commission, the Council and the President of the European Council on the appropriate allocation of speaking time for them.

Rule 150

One-minute speeches

For a period of not more than 30 minutes during the first sitting of each part-session the President shall call Members who wish to draw Parliament’s attention to a matter of political importance. Speaking time for each Member shall not exceed 1 minute. The President may allow a further such period later during the same part-session.

Rule 151

Personal statements

1.

Members who ask to make a personal statement shall be heard at the end of the discussion of the agenda item which is being dealt with or when the minutes of the sitting to which the request for leave to speak refers are considered for approval.

The Members concerned may not speak on substantive matters but shall confine their observations to rebutting any remarks that have been made about their person in the course of the debate or opinions that have been attributed to them, or to correcting observations that they themselves have made.

2.

Unless Parliament decides otherwise, no personal statement shall last for more than 3 minutes.

CHAPTER 4

Measures to be taken in the event of non-compliance with the standards of conduct of Members

Rule 152

Immediate measures

1.

The President shall call to order any Member who disrupts the smooth conduct of the proceedings or whose conduct fails to comply with the relevant provisions of Rule 9.

2.

Should the offence be repeated, the President shall again call the Member to order, and the fact shall be recorded in the minutes.

3.

Should the disturbance continue, or if a further offence is committed, the offender may be denied the right to speak and may be excluded from the Chamber by the President for the remainder of the sitting. The President may also resort to the latter measure immediately and without a second call to order in cases of exceptional seriousness. The Secretary-General shall, without delay, see to it that such disciplinary measures are carried out, with the assistance of the ushers and, if necessary, of Parliament’s Security Service.

4.

Should disturbances threaten to obstruct the business of the House, the President shall close or suspend the sitting for a specific period to restore order. If the President cannot make himself heard, he shall leave the chair; this shall have the effect of suspending the sitting. The President shall reconvene the sitting.

5.

The powers provided for in paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be vested, mutatis mutandis, in the presiding officers of bodies, committees and delegations as provided for in the Rules of Procedure.

6.

Where appropriate, and bearing in mind the seriousness of the breach of the Members’ standards of conduct, the Member in the Chair may, no later than the following part-session or the following meeting of the body, committee or delegation concerned, ask the President to apply Rule 153.

Rule 153

Penalties

1.

In exceptionally serious cases of disorder or disruption of Parliament in violation of the principles laid down in Rule 9, the President, after hearing the Member concerned, shall adopt a reasoned decision laying down the appropriate penalty, which he shall notify to the Member concerned and to the presiding officers of the bodies, committees and delegations on which the Member serves, before announcing it to plenary.

2.

When assessing the conduct observed, account shall be taken of its exceptional, recurrent or permanent nature and of its seriousness, on the basis of the guidelines annexed to these Rules of Procedure (17).

3.

The penalty may consist of one or more of the following measures:

(a)

a reprimand;

(b)

forfeiture of entitlement to the daily subsistence allowance for a period of between 2 and 10 days;

(c)

without prejudice to the right to vote in plenary, and subject, in this instance, to strict compliance with the Members’ standards of conduct, temporary suspension from participation in all or some of the activities of Parliament for a period of between 2 and 10 consecutive days on which Parliament or any of its bodies, committees or delegations meet;

(d)

submission to the Conference of Presidents, in accordance with Rule 19, of a proposal for the Member’s suspension or removal from one or more of the elected offices held by the Member in Parliament.

Rule 154

Internal appeal procedures

The Member concerned may lodge an internal appeal with the Bureau within 2 weeks of notification of the penalty imposed by the President. Such an appeal shall have the effect of suspending the application of that penalty. The Bureau may, not later than 4 weeks after the lodging of the appeal, annul, confirm or reduce the penalty imposed, without prejudice to the external rights of appeal open to the Member concerned. Should the Bureau fail to take a decision within the time limit laid down, the penalty shall be declared null and void.

CHAPTER 5

Quorum and voting

Rule 155

Quorum

1.

Parliament may deliberate, settle its agenda and approve the minutes, whatever the number of Members present.

2.

A quorum shall exist when one third of the component Members of Parliament are present in the Chamber.

3.

All votes shall be valid whatever the number of voters unless the President, on a request made before voting has begun by at least 40 Members, establishes at the time of voting that the quorum is not present. If the vote shows that the quorum is not present, the vote shall be placed on the agenda for the next sitting.

A request for the quorum to be established must be made by at least 40 Members. A request on behalf of a political group is not admissible.

When establishing the result of the vote, account must be taken, in accordance with paragraph 2, of all the Members present in the Chamber and, in accordance with paragraph 4, of all the Members who asked for the quorum to be established. The electronic voting system cannot be used for this purpose. The doors of the Chamber may not be closed.

If the number of Members required to make up the quorum is not present, the President shall not announce the result of the vote but shall declare that the quorum is not present.

The last sentence of paragraph 3 shall not apply to votes on procedural motions but only to votes on the subject-matter itself.

4.

Members who have asked for the quorum to be established shall be counted as being present within the meaning of paragraph 2, even if they are no longer in the Chamber.

Members who have asked for the quorum to be established must be present in the Chamber when the request is made.

5.

If fewer than 40 Members are present, the President may rule that there is no quorum.

Rule 156

Tabling and moving amendments

1.

Amendments for consideration in Parliament may be tabled by the committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members.

Amendments shall be tabled in writing and signed by their authors.

Amendments to documents of a legislative nature within the meaning of Rule 43(1) may be accompanied by a short justification. Such justifications shall be the responsibility of the author and shall not be put to the vote.

2.

Subject to the limitations laid down in Rule 157, an amendment may seek to change any part of a text, and may be directed to deleting, adding or replacing words or figures.

In this Rule and Rule 157 the term ‘text’ means the whole of a motion for a resolution/draft legislative resolution, of a proposal for a decision or of a proposal for a legislative act.

3.

The President shall set a deadline for the tabling of amendments.

4.

An amendment may be moved during the debate by its author or by any other Member appointed by the author to replace him or her.

5.

Where an amendment is withdrawn by its author, it shall fall unless immediately taken over by another Member.

6.

Amendments shall be put to the vote only after they have been printed and distributed in all the official languages, unless Parliament decides otherwise. Parliament may not decide otherwise if at least 40 Members object. Parliament shall avoid taking decisions which would place Members who use a particular language at an unacceptable disadvantage.

Where fewer than 100 Members are present, Parliament may not decide otherwise if at least one tenth of the Members present object.

Oral amendments tabled in committee may be put to the vote unless one of the committee’s members objects.

Rule 157

Admissibility of amendments

1.

No amendment shall be admissible if:

(a)

it does not directly relate to the text which it seeks to amend;

(b)

it seeks to delete or replace the whole of a text;

(c)

it seeks to amend more than one of the individual articles or paragraphs of the text to which it relates. This provision shall not apply to compromise amendments nor to amendments which seek to make identical changes to a particular form of words throughout the text;

(d)

it is established that the wording in at least one of the official languages of the text that the amendment is seeking to change does not require amendment; in this case, the President shall seek out a suitable linguistic remedy together with those concerned.

2.

An amendment shall fall if it is inconsistent with decisions previously taken on the text during the same vote.

3.

The President shall decide whether amendments are admissible.

The President’s decision under paragraph 3 concerning the admissibility of amendments is not based exclusively on the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Rule but on the provisions of the Rules in general.

4.

A political group or at least 40 members may table an alternative motion for a resolution seeking to replace a non-legislative motion for a resolution contained in a committee report.

In such a case, the group or the Members concerned may not table amendments to the motion for a resolution by the committee responsible. The alternative motion for a resolution may not be longer than the committee’s motion for a resolution. It shall be put to a single vote in Parliament without amendment.

Rule 110(4) shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Rule 158

Voting procedure

1.

The following voting procedure shall apply to reports:

(a)

first, voting on any amendments to the text with which the report of the committee responsible is concerned;

(b)

second, voting on that text as a whole, amended or otherwise;

(c)

third, voting on amendments to the motion for a resolution/draft legislative resolution;

(d)

finally, voting on the motion for a resolution/draft legislative resolution as a whole (final vote).

Parliament shall not vote on the explanatory statement contained in the report.

2.

The following procedure shall apply to second readings:

(a)

where no proposal to reject or amend the Council’s position has been tabled, it shall be deemed to have been approved in accordance with Rule 72;

(b)

a proposal to reject the Council’s position shall be voted upon before voting on any amendments (see Rule 65(1));

(c)

where several amendments to the Council’s position have been tabled they shall be put to the vote in the order set out in Rule 161;

(d)

where Parliament has held a vote with a view to amending the Council’s position, a further vote on the text as a whole may only be taken in accordance with Rule 65(2).

3.

The procedure set out in Rule 69 shall apply to third readings.

4.

In voting on legislative texts and on non-legislative motions for resolutions, votes relating to substantive parts shall be taken first, followed by votes relating to citations and recitals. Amendments shall fall if they are inconsistent with a prior vote.

5.

The only Member permitted to speak during the vote shall be the rapporteur, who shall have the opportunity of expressing briefly the views of the committee responsible on the amendments put to the vote.

Rule 159

Tied votes

1.

In the event of a tied vote under Rule 158(1)(b) or (d), the text as a whole shall be referred back to committee. This shall also apply to votes under Rules 3 and 7 and to final votes under Rules 186 and 198, on the understanding that, in the case of these two Rules, the matter is referred back to the Conference of Presidents.

2.

In the event of a tied vote on the agenda as a whole (Rule 140) or the minutes as a whole (Rule 179), or on a text put to a split vote under Rule 163, the text shall be deemed adopted.

3.

In all other cases where there is a tied vote, without prejudice to those Rules which require qualified majorities, the text or proposal shall be deemed rejected.

Rule 160

Principles governing voting

1.

Voting on a report shall take place on the basis of a recommendation from the committee responsible. The committee may delegate this task to its Chair and rapporteur.

2.

The committee may recommend that all or several amendments be put to the vote collectively, that they be accepted or rejected or declared void.

It may also propose compromise amendments.

3.

Where the committee recommends that amendments be put to the vote collectively, the collective vote on these amendments shall be taken first.

4.

Where the committee proposes a compromise amendment, that compromise amendment shall be given priority in voting.

5.

Amendments for which a roll-call vote has been requested shall be put to the vote individually.

6.

A split vote shall not be admissible in the case of a collective vote or a vote on a compromise amendment.

Rule 161

Order of voting on amendments

1.

Amendments shall have priority over the text to which they relate and shall be put to the vote before that text.

2.

If two or more mutually exclusive amendments have been tabled to the same part of a text, the amendment that departs furthest from the original text shall have priority and shall be put to the vote first. If it is adopted the other amendments shall be deemed rejected; if it is rejected, the amendment next in priority shall be put to the vote and similarly for each of the remaining amendments. Where there is doubt as to priority, the President shall decide. If all amendments are rejected, the original text shall be deemed adopted unless a separate vote has been requested within the specified deadline.

3.

The President may put the original text to the vote first, or put an amendment that is closer to the original text to the vote before the amendment that departs furthest from the original text.

If either of these secures a majority, all other amendments tabled to the same text shall fall.

4.

Exceptionally, on a proposal from the President, amendments tabled after the close of the debate may be put to the vote if they are compromise amendments, or if there are technical problems. The President shall obtain the agreement of Parliament to putting such amendments to the vote.

Under Rule 157(3), the President decides whether amendments are admissible. In the case of compromise amendments tabled after the close of a debate, under this paragraph, the President decides on their admissibility on a case-by-case basis, having regard to the compromise nature of the amendments.

The following general criteria for admissibility may be applied:

as a general rule, compromise amendments may not relate to parts of the text which have not been the subject of amendments prior to the deadline for tabling amendments,

as a general rule, compromise amendments may only be tabled by political groups, the Chairs or rapporteurs of the committees concerned or the authors of other amendments,

as a general rule, compromise amendments entail the withdrawal of other amendments to the same passage.

Only the President may propose that a compromise amendment be considered. In order for a compromise amendment to be put to the vote, the President must obtain the agreement of Parliament by asking whether there are any objections to such a vote being held. If an objection is raised, Parliament decides on the matter by a majority of the votes cast.

5.

Where the committee responsible has tabled a set of amendments to the text with which the report is concerned, the President shall put them to the vote collectively, unless a political group or at least 40 Members have requested separate votes or unless other amendments have been tabled.

6.

The President may put other amendments to the vote collectively where they are complementary. In such cases he shall follow the procedure laid down in paragraph 5. Authors of such amendments may propose such collective votes where their amendments are complementary.

7.

The President may decide, following the adoption or rejection of a particular amendment, that several other amendments of similar content or with similar objectives shall be put to the vote collectively. The President may seek the agreement of Parliament before doing so.

Such a set of amendments may relate to different parts of the original text.

8.

Where two or more identical amendments are tabled by different authors, they shall be put to the vote as one.

Rule 162

Committee consideration of plenary amendments

When more than 50 amendments and requests for a split or separate vote have been tabled to a report for consideration in Parliament, the President may, after consulting its Chair, ask the committee responsible to meet to consider those amendments or requests. Any amendment or request for a split or separate vote not receiving favourable votes at this stage from at least one tenth of the members of the committee shall not be put to the vote in Parliament.

Rule 163

Split voting

1.

Where the text to be put to the vote contains two or more provisions or references to two or more points or lends itself to division into two or more parts having a distinct meaning and/or normative value, a split vote may be requested by a political group or at least 40 Members.

2.

The request shall be made the evening before the vote, unless the President sets a different deadline. The President shall decide on the request.

Rule 164

Right to vote

The right to vote is a personal right.

Members shall cast their votes individually and in person.

Any infringement of this Rule is considered as a serious case of disorder as referred to in Rule 153(1) and will have the legal consequences mentioned in that Rule.

Rule 165

Voting

1.

As a general rule Parliament shall vote by show of hands.

2.

If the President decides that the result is doubtful, a fresh vote shall be taken using the electronic voting system and, if the latter is not working, by sitting and standing.

3.

The result of the vote shall be recorded.

Rule 166

Final vote

When voting on any proposal for a legislative act, whether by way of a single and/or final vote, Parliament shall vote by roll call using the electronic voting system.

Rule 167

Voting by roll call

1.

In addition to the cases provided for under Rules 106(4), 107(5) and 166, the vote shall be taken by roll call if this is requested in writing by a political group or at least 40 Members the evening before the vote unless the President sets a different deadline.

2.

The roll call vote shall be taken using the electronic voting system. Where the latter cannot be used for technical reasons, the roll shall be called in alphabetical order, beginning with the name of a Member drawn by lot. The President shall be the last to be called to vote.

Voting shall be by word of mouth and shall be expressed by ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘I abstain’. In calculating whether a motion has been adopted or rejected account shall be taken only of votes cast for and against. The President shall establish the result of the vote and announce it.

Votes shall be recorded in the minutes of the sitting by political group in the alphabetical order of Members’ names, with an indication of how they voted.

Rule 168

Electronic voting

1.

The President may at any time decide that the voting operations indicated in Rules 165, 167 and 169 will be carried out by means of the electronic voting system.

Where the electronic voting system cannot be used for technical reasons, voting shall take place in accordance with Rules 165, 167(2) or 169.

The technical arrangements for using the electronic voting system shall be governed by instructions from the Bureau.

2.

Where an electronic vote is taken, only the numerical result of the vote shall be recorded.

However, if a vote by roll call has been requested in accordance with Rule 167(1), the votes shall be recorded in the minutes of the sitting by political group in the alphabetical order of Members’ names.

3.

The vote by roll call shall be taken in accordance with Rule 167(2) if a majority of the Members present so request. The system indicated in paragraph 1 of this Rule may be used to determine whether a majority exists.

Rule 169

Voting by secret ballot

1.

In the case of appointments, voting shall be by secret ballot without prejudice to Rules 13(1), 186(1) and 191(2), second subparagraph.

Only ballot papers bearing the names of Members who have been nominated shall be taken into account in calculating the number of votes cast.

2.

Voting may also be by secret ballot if this is requested by at least one fifth of the component Members of Parliament. Such requests must be made before voting begins.

When a request for a secret ballot is submitted by at least one fifth of the component Members of Parliament before voting begins, Parliament must hold such a vote.

3.

A request for a secret ballot shall take priority over a request for a vote by roll call.

4.

Between two and eight Members chosen by lot shall count the votes cast in a secret ballot, unless an electronic vote is taken.

In the case of votes under paragraph 1, candidates shall not act as tellers.

The names of Members who have taken part in a secret ballot shall be recorded in the minutes of the sitting at which the ballot was held.

Rule 170

Explanations of vote

1.

Once the general debate has been concluded, any Member may give an oral explanation on the final vote for not longer than 1 minute or give a written explanation of no more than 200 words, which shall be included in the verbatim report of proceedings.

Any political group may give an explanation of vote lasting not more than 2 minutes.

No further requests to give explanations of vote shall be accepted once the first explanation of vote has begun.

Explanations of vote are admissible on the final vote on any subject submitted to Parliament. For the purposes of this Rule the term ‘final vote’ does not refer to the type of vote, but means the last vote on any item.

2.

Explanations of vote shall not be admissible in the case of votes on procedural matters.

3.

Where a proposal for a legislative act or a report has been included on the agenda of Parliament pursuant to Rule 138, Members may submit written explanations of vote in accordance with paragraph 1.

Explanations of vote given either orally or in writing must have a direct bearing on the text being put to the vote.

Rule 171

Disputes on voting

1.

The President shall declare votes open and closed.

2.

Once the President has declared a vote open, no one except the President shall be allowed to speak until the vote is declared closed.

3.

Points of order concerning the validity of a vote may be raised after the President has declared it closed.

4.

After the result of a vote by show of hands has been announced, a Member may request that this result be checked using the electronic voting system.

5.

The President shall decide whether the result announced is valid. The decision shall be final.

CHAPTER 6

Interruptive and procedural motions

Rule 172

Procedural motions

1.

Requests to move a procedural motion, namely:

(a)

the inadmissibility of a matter (Rule 174);

(b)

referral back to committee (Rule 175);

(c)

the closure of a debate (Rule 176);

(d)

the adjournment of a debate and vote (Rule 177); or

(e)

the suspension or closure of the sitting (Rule 178),

shall take precedence over other requests to speak.

Only the following shall be heard on these motions in addition to the mover: one speaker in favour and one against and the Chair or rapporteur of the committee responsible.

2.

Speaking time shall not exceed 1 minute.

Rule 173

Points of order

1.

Members may be allowed to speak in order to draw the attention of the President to any failure to comply with Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. They shall first specify to which Rule they are referring.

2.

A request to raise a point of order shall take precedence over all other requests to speak.

3.

Speaking time shall not exceed 1 minute.

4.

The President shall take an immediate decision on points of order in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and shall announce it immediately after the point of order has been raised. No vote shall be taken on the President’s decision.

5.

Exceptionally, the President may state that he will announce the decision later, but not more than 24 hours after the point of order was raised. Postponement of the ruling shall not entail the adjournment of the debate. The President may refer the matter to the committee responsible.

A request to raise a point of order must relate to the agenda item under discussion. The President may take a point of order concerning a different matter at an appropriate time, e.g., after the discussion of the agenda item in question is closed or before the sitting is suspended.

Rule 174

Moving the inadmissibility of a matter

1.

At the beginning of the debate on a specific item on the agenda, its inadmissibility may be moved. Such a motion shall be put to the vote immediately.

The intention to move inadmissibility shall be notified at least 24 hours in advance to the President who shall inform Parliament immediately.

2.

If the motion is carried, Parliament shall immediately proceed to the next item on the agenda.

Rule 175

Referral back to committee

1.

Referral back to committee may be requested by a political group or at least 40 Members when the agenda is fixed or before the start of the debate.

The intention to move referral back to committee shall be notified at least 24 hours in advance to the President, who shall inform Parliament immediately.

2.

Referral back to committee may also be requested by a political group or at least 40 Members before or during a vote. Such a motion shall be put to the vote immediately.

3.

A request may be made only once at each of these procedural stages.

4.

Referral back to committee shall entail suspension of the discussion of the item.

5.

Parliament may set a time limit within which the committee must report its conclusions.

Rule 176

Closure of a debate

1.

A debate may be closed before the list of speakers has been exhausted on a proposal from the President or at the request of a political group or at least 40 Members. Such a proposal or request shall be put to the vote immediately.

2.

If the proposal or request is carried, one Member only may speak from each political group which has not yet provided a speaker in that debate.

3.

After the speeches referred to in paragraph 2, the debate shall be closed and Parliament shall vote on the matter under debate, except where the time for the vote has been set in advance.

4.

If the proposal or request is rejected, it may not be tabled again during the same debate, except by the President.

Rule 177

Adjournment of a debate and vote

1.

At the start of a debate on an item on the agenda, a political group or at least 40 Members may move that the debate be adjourned to a specific date and time. Such a motion shall be put to the vote immediately.

The intention to move adjournment shall be notified at least 24 hours in advance to the President, who shall inform Parliament immediately.

2.

If the motion is carried, Parliament shall proceed to the next item on the agenda. The adjourned debate shall be resumed at the specified date and time.

3.

If the motion is rejected, it may not be tabled again during the same part-session.

4.

Before or during a vote, a political group or at least 40 Members may move that the vote be adjourned. Such a motion shall be put to the vote immediately.

Any decision by Parliament to adjourn a debate to a subsequent part-session shall specify the part-session on the agenda of which the debate is to be included, on the understanding that the agenda for that part-session is drawn up in accordance with Rules 137 and 140.

Rule 178

Suspension or closure of the sitting

The sitting may be suspended or closed during a debate or a vote if Parliament so decides on a proposal from the President or at the request of a political group or at least 40 Members. Such a proposal or request shall be put to the vote immediately.

CHAPTER 7

Public record of proceedings

Rule 179

Minutes

1.

The minutes of each sitting, detailing the proceedings and the decisions of Parliament and the names of speakers, shall be distributed at least half an hour before the beginning of the afternoon period of the next sitting.

In the context of legislative proceedings, any amendments adopted by Parliament are also deemed to be decisions within the meaning of this provision, even if the relevant Commission proposal or the Council’s position is ultimately rejected, in accordance with Rule 56(1) or Rule 65(3) respectively.

2.

At the beginning of the afternoon period of each sitting the President shall place before Parliament, for its approval, the minutes of the previous sitting.

3.

If any objections are raised to the minutes Parliament shall, if necessary, decide whether the changes requested should be considered. No Member may speak on the subject for more than 1 minute.

4.

The minutes shall be signed by the President and the Secretary-General and preserved in the records of Parliament. They shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Rule 180

Texts adopted

1.

Texts adopted by Parliament shall be published immediately after the vote. They shall be placed before Parliament in conjunction with the minutes of the relevant sitting and preserved in the records of Parliament.

2.

Texts adopted by Parliament shall be subject to legal-linguistic finalisation under the responsibility of the President. Where such texts are adopted on the basis of an agreement reached between Parliament and the Council, such finalisation shall be carried out by the two institutions acting in close cooperation and by mutual agreement.

3.

The procedure laid down in Rule 216 shall apply where, in order to ensure the coherence and quality of the text in accordance with the will expressed by Parliament, adaptations are required which go beyond corrections of typographical errors or corrections necessary to ensure the concordance of all language versions, their linguistic correctness and their terminological consistency.

4.

Positions adopted by Parliament under the ordinary legislative procedure shall take the form of a consolidated text. Where Parliament’s vote was not based on an agreement with the Council, the consolidated text shall identify any amendments adopted.

5.

After finalisation, the texts adopted shall be signed by the President and the Secretary-General and published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Rule 181

Verbatim reports

1.

A verbatim report of the proceedings of each sitting shall be drawn up in all the official languages.

2.

Speakers shall return corrections to typescripts of their speeches to the Secretariat within 1 week.

3.

The verbatim report shall be published as an annex to the Official Journal of the European Union.

4.

Members may ask for extracts from the verbatim report to be translated at short notice.

Rule 182

Audiovisual record of proceedings

Immediately after the sitting, an audiovisual record of the proceedings, including the soundtrack from all interpretation booths, shall be produced and made available on the Internet.

TITLE VII

COMMITTEES AND DELEGATIONS

CHAPTER 1

Committees - setting-up and powers

Rule 183

Setting-up of standing committees

On a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, Parliament shall set up standing committees whose powers shall be defined in an annex to these Rules of Procedure (18). Their members shall be elected during the first part-session following the re-election of Parliament and again 2 ½ years thereafter.

The powers of standing committees can be determined at a time other than that at which the committee is set up.

Rule 184

Setting-up of special committees

On a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, Parliament may at any time set up special committees, whose powers, composition and term of office shall be defined at the same time as the decision to set them up is taken; their term of office may not exceed 12 months, except where Parliament extends that term on its expiry.

As the powers, composition and term of office of special committees are decided at the same time as those committees are set up, Parliament cannot subsequently decide to alter their powers by either increasing or reducing them.

Rule 185

Committees of inquiry

1.

Parliament may, at the request of one quarter of its component Members, set up a committee of inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions of Union law or alleged maladministration in the application of Union law which would appear to be the act of an institution or body of the European Union, of a public administrative body of a Member State, or of persons empowered by Union law to implement that law.

The decision to set up a committee of inquiry shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union within 1 month. In addition, Parliament shall take all the necessary steps to make this decision as widely known as possible.

2.

The modus operandi of a committee of inquiry shall be governed by the provisions of these Rules relating to committees, save as otherwise specifically provided for in this Rule and in the Decision of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 19 April 1995 on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament’s right of inquiry, which is annexed to these Rules (19).

3.

The request to set up a committee of inquiry must specify precisely the subject of the inquiry and include a detailed statement of the grounds for it. Parliament, on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, shall decide whether to set up a committee and, if it decides to do so, on its composition, in accordance with Rule 186.

4.

A committee of inquiry shall conclude its work by submitting a report within not more than 12 months. Parliament may twice decide to extend this period by 3 months.

Only full members or, in their absence, permanent substitutes may vote in a committee of inquiry.

5.

A committee of inquiry shall elect its Chair and two Vice-Chairs and appoint one or more rapporteurs. The committee may also assign responsibilities, duties or specific tasks to its members who must subsequently report to the committee in detail thereon.

In the interval between one meeting and another, the bureau of the committee shall, in cases of urgency or need, exercise the committee’s powers, subject to ratification at the next meeting.

6.

If a committee of inquiry considers that any of its rights have been infringed, it shall propose that the President take appropriate measures.

7.

A committee of inquiry may contact the institutions or persons referred to in Article 3 of the Decision referred to in paragraph 2 with a view to holding a hearing or obtaining documents.

The travel and accommodation expenses of members and officials of Union institutions and bodies shall be borne by those institutions and bodies. Travel and accommodation expenses of other persons who appear before a committee of inquiry shall be reimbursed by the European Parliament in accordance with the rules governing hearings of experts.

Persons called to give evidence before a committee of inquiry may claim the rights they would enjoy if appearing as a witness before a tribunal in their country of origin. They must be informed of these rights before they make a statement to the committee.

With regard to the languages used, a committee of inquiry shall apply the provisions of Rule 146. However, the bureau of the committee:

may restrict interpretation to the official languages of those taking part in the deliberations, if it deems this necessary for reasons of confidentiality,

shall decide about translation of the documents received in such a way as to ensure that the committee can carry out its deliberations efficiently and rapidly and that the necessary secrecy and confidentiality are respected.

8.

The Chair of a committee of inquiry shall, together with the bureau, ensure that the secrecy or confidentiality of deliberations are respected and shall give members due notice to this effect.

The Chair shall also explicitly refer to the provisions of Article 2(2) of the Decision referred to above. Part A of Annex VIII to these Rules of Procedure shall apply.

9.

Secret or confidential documents which have been forwarded shall be examined using technical measures to ensure that only the members responsible for the case have personal access to them. The members in question shall give a solemn undertaking not to allow any other person access to secret or confidential information, in accordance with this Rule, and to use such information exclusively for the purposes of drawing up their report for the committee of inquiry. Meetings shall be held on premises equipped in such a way as to make it impossible for any non-authorised persons to listen to the proceedings.

10.

After completion of its work a committee of inquiry shall submit to Parliament a report on the results of its work, containing minority opinions if appropriate in accordance with the conditions laid down in Rule 52. The report shall be published.

At the request of the committee of inquiry Parliament shall hold a debate on the report at the part-session following its submission.

The committee may also submit to Parliament a draft recommendation addressed to institutions or bodies of the European Union or the Member States.

11.

The President shall instruct the committee responsible under Annex VII to monitor the action taken on the results of the work of the committee of inquiry and, if appropriate, to report thereon, and shall take any further steps which are deemed appropriate to ensure that the conclusions of the inquiry are acted upon in practice.

Only the proposal from the Conference of Presidents concerning the composition of a committee of inquiry (paragraph 3) is open to amendment, in accordance with Rule 186(2).

The subject of the inquiry as defined by one quarter of Parliament’s component Members (paragraph 3) and the period laid down in paragraph 4 are not open to amendments.

Rule 186

Composition of committees

1.

Members of committees and committees of inquiry shall be elected after nominations have been submitted by the political groups and the non-attached Members. The Conference of Presidents shall submit proposals to Parliament. The composition of the committees shall, as far as possible, reflect the composition of Parliament.

When Members change their political group they shall retain, for the remainder of their 2 ½-year term of office, the seats they hold in parliamentary committees. However, if a Member’s change of political group has the effect of disturbing the fair representation of political views in a committee, new proposals for the composition of that committee are made by the Conference of Presidents in accordance with the procedure laid down in paragraph 1, second sentence, so that the individual rights of the Member concerned are guaranteed.

The proportionality of the distribution of committee seats among political groups must not depart from the nearest appropriate whole number. If a group decides not to take seats on a committee, the seats in question will remain vacant and the committee will be reduced in size by the corresponding number. Exchange of seats between political groups is not allowed.

2.

Amendments to the proposals by the Conference of Presidents shall be admissible only if they are tabled by at least 40 Members. Parliament shall vote on such amendments by secret ballot.

3.

Members shall be deemed to be elected on the basis of the proposals from the Conference of Presidents, as and where amended in accordance with paragraph 2.

4.

If a political group fails to submit nominations for membership of a committee of inquiry in accordance with paragraph 1 within a time limit set by the Conference of Presidents, the Conference of Presidents shall submit to Parliament only the nominations communicated to it within that time limit.

5.

The Conference of Presidents may provisionally decide to fill any vacancy on a committee with the agreement of the persons to be appointed, having regard to paragraph 1.

6.

Any such changes shall be placed before Parliament for ratification at the next sitting.

Rule 187

Substitutes

1.

The political groups and the non-attached Members may appoint a number of permanent substitutes for each committee equal to the number of full members representing them on the committee. The President shall be informed accordingly. These permanent substitutes shall be entitled to attend and speak at committee meetings and, if the full member is absent, to take part in the vote.

2.

In addition, in the absence of the full member and where permanent substitutes either have not been appointed or are absent, the full member of the committee may arrange to be represented at meetings by another member of the same political group, who shall be entitled to vote. The Chair of the committee shall be notified of the name of the substitute prior to the beginning of the voting session.

Paragraph 2 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the non-attached Members.

The advance notification provided for in the last sentence of paragraph 2 must be given before the end of the debate or before the opening of the vote on the item or items for which the full member is to be replaced.

* * *

The provisions of this Rule encompass two concepts which are clearly defined by this text:

a political group may not have more permanent substitutes on a committee than it has full members,

only political groups are entitled to appoint permanent substitutes, on the sole condition that they inform the President.

To conclude:

the status of permanent substitutes depends exclusively on membership of a given political group,

if the number of a political group’s full members in a committee changes, the maximum number of permanent substitutes which it can appoint to that committee changes accordingly,

Members who change their political group may not keep the status of permanent substitute which they had as members of their original group,

a committee member may not under any circumstances be a substitute for a colleague who belongs to another political group.

Rule 188

Duties of committees

1.

Standing committees shall examine questions referred to them by Parliament or, during an adjournment of the session, by the President on behalf of the Conference of Presidents. The responsibilities of special committees and committees of inquiry shall be defined when they are set up; they shall not be entitled to deliver opinions to other committees.

(See interpretation under Rule 184.)

2.

If a standing committee declares itself not competent to consider a question, or a conflict arises over the competence of two or more standing committees, the question of competence shall be referred to the Conference of Presidents within 4 working weeks of the announcement in Parliament of referral to committee.

The Conference of Presidents shall take a decision within 6 weeks on the basis of a recommendation from the Conference of Committee Chairs, or, if no such recommendation is forthcoming, from the latter’s Chair. If the Conference of Presidents fails to take a decision within that period, the recommendation shall be deemed to have been approved.

The committee Chairs may enter into agreements with other committee Chairs concerning the allocation of an item to a particular committee, subject, where necessary, to authorisation of a procedure with associated committees under Rule 50.

3.

Should two or more standing committees be competent to deal with a question, one committee shall be named as the committee responsible and the others as committees asked for opinions.

A question shall not, however, be referred simultaneously to more than three committees, unless it is decided for sound reasons to depart from this rule under the conditions laid down in paragraph 1.

4.

Any two or more committees or subcommittees may jointly consider matters falling within their competence, but they may not take a decision.

5.

Any committee may, with the agreement of Parliament’s Bureau, instruct one or more of its members to undertake a study or fact-finding mission.

Rule 189

Committee responsible for the verification of credentials

Among the committees set up in accordance with the provisions of these Rules, one committee shall be responsible for the verification of credentials and the preparation of decisions on any objections concerning the validity of elections.

Rule 190

Subcommittees

1.

Subject to prior authorisation by the Conference of Presidents, a standing or special committee may, in the interests of its work, appoint one or more subcommittees, at the same time determining their composition, in accordance with Rule 186, and their areas of responsibility. Subcommittees shall report to the committee that set them up.

2.

The procedure for subcommittees shall be the same as for committees.

3.

Substitutes shall be allowed to sit on subcommittees under the same conditions as on committees.

4.

The application of these provisions must safeguard the interdependence between a subcommittee and the committee within which it is set up. For this purpose all the full members of a subcommittee shall be chosen from among the members of the parent committee.

Rule 191

Committee bureaux

1.

At the first committee meeting after the election of committee members pursuant to Rule 186, the committee shall elect a bureau consisting of a chair and of vice-chairs who shall be elected in separate ballots. The number of vice-chairs to be elected shall be determined by Parliament upon a proposal by the Conference of Presidents.

This Rule does not preclude the Chair of the main committee from involving the Chairs of the subcommittees in the work of the bureau or from permitting them to chair debates on issues specifically dealt with by the subcommittees in question – on the contrary, it allows this – provided that this way of proceeding is submitted to the bureau in its entirety for its consideration and that it receives the bureau’s agreement.

2.

Where the number of nominations corresponds to the number of seats to be filled, the election may take place by acclamation.

If this is not the case, or at the request of one sixth of the members of the committee, the election shall take place by secret ballot.

If there is only one candidate, the election shall be won by an absolute majority of the votes cast, these to include votes cast for and against.

If there is more than one candidate at the first ballot, the candidate who obtains an absolute majority of the votes cast, as defined in the preceding subparagraph, shall be elected. At the second ballot, the candidate who obtains the highest number of votes shall be elected. In the event of a tie, the oldest candidate shall be elected.

Where a second ballot is required, new candidates may be nominated.

Rule 192

Committee coordinators and shadow rapporteurs

1.

The political groups may designate one of their members as coordinator.

2.

The committee coordinators shall if necessary be convened by their committee Chair to prepare decisions to be taken by the committee, in particular decisions on procedure and the appointment of rapporteurs. The committee may delegate the power to take certain decisions to the coordinators, with the exception of decisions concerning the adoption of reports, opinions or amendments. The Vice-Chairs may be invited to participate in the meetings of committee coordinators in a consultative role. The coordinators shall endeavour to find a consensus. When consensus cannot be reached, they may act only by a majority that clearly represents a large majority of the committee, having regard to the respective strengths of the various groups.

3.

The political groups may designate a shadow rapporteur for each report to follow the progress of the relevant report and find compromises within the committee on behalf of the group. Their names shall be communicated to the committee Chair. The committee, on a proposal from the coordinators, may in particular decide to involve the shadow rapporteurs in seeking an agreement with the Council in ordinary legislative procedures.

CHAPTER 2

Committees - functioning

Rule 193

Committee meetings

1.

A committee shall meet when convened by its Chair or at the request of the President.

2.

The Commission and the Council may take part in committee meetings if invited to do so on behalf of a committee by its Chair.

By special decision of a committee, any other person may be invited to attend and to speak at a meeting.

By analogy, the decision on whether to allow Members’ assistants to be present at committee meetings is left to the discretion of each committee.

The committee responsible may, subject to approval by the Bureau, organise a hearing of experts if it considers such a hearing essential to the effective conduct of its work on a particular subject.

Committees asked for opinions may attend the hearing if they so wish.

Provisions of this paragraph shall be interpreted in accordance with the point 50 of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission  (20).

3.

Without prejudice to Rule 49(6) and unless the committee concerned decides otherwise, Members may attend meetings of committees to which they do not belong but may not take part in their deliberations.

Such Members may, however, be allowed by the committee to take part in its proceedings in an advisory capacity.

Rule 194

Minutes of committee meetings

The minutes of each meeting of a committee shall be distributed to all its members and submitted to the committee for its approval.

Rule 195

Voting in committee

1.

Any Member may table amendments for consideration in committee.

2.

A committee may validly vote when one quarter of its members are actually present. However, if so requested by one sixth of its members before voting begins, the vote shall be valid only if the majority of the component members of the committee have taken part in it.

3.

Voting in committee shall be by show of hands, unless a quarter of the committee’s members request a vote by roll call. In this case the vote shall be taken in accordance with Rule 167(2).

4.

The Chair may take part in discussions and may vote, but without having a casting vote.

5.

In the light of the amendments tabled, the committee may, instead of proceeding to a vote, ask the rapporteur to submit a new draft taking account of as many of the amendments as possible. A new deadline shall then be set for amendments to this draft.

Rule 196

Provisions concerning plenary sittings applicable in committee

Rules 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 36 to 44, 148, 149(2) and (10), 152, 154, 156 to 159, 161, 163(1), 164, 165, 168, 169, 171 to 174, 177 and 178 shall apply mutatis mutandis to committee meetings.

Rule 197

Question Time in committee

Question Time may be held in committee if a committee so decides. Each committee shall decide on its own rules for the conduct of Question Time.

CHAPTER 3

Interparliamentary delegations

Rule 198

Setting-up and duties of interparliamentary delegations

1.

On a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, Parliament shall set up standing interparliamentary delegations and decide on their nature and the number of their members in the light of their duties. The members shall be elected during the first or second part-session following the re-election of Parliament for the duration of the parliamentary term.

2.

Members of the delegations shall be elected after nominations have been submitted to the Conference of Presidents by the political groups and the non-attached Members. The Conference of Presidents shall submit to Parliament proposals designed to ensure as far as possible that Member States and political views are fairly represented. Rule 186(2), (3), (5) and (6) shall apply.

3.

The bureaux of the delegations shall be constituted in accordance with the procedure laid down for the standing committees in Rule 191.

4.

Parliament shall determine the general powers of the individual delegations. It may at any time decide to increase or restrict those powers.

5.

The implementing provisions needed to enable the delegations to carry out their work shall be adopted by the Conference of Presidents on a proposal from the Conference of Delegation Chairs.

6.

The Chair of a delegation shall submit to the committee responsible for foreign affairs and security a report on the activities of the delegation.

7.

The Chair of a delegation shall be given an opportunity to be heard by a committee when an item on the agenda which touches on the delegation’s area of responsibility. The same shall apply to the Chair or rapporteur of that committee in the case of meetings of the delegation.

Rule 199

Cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

1.

Parliament’s bodies, particularly the committees, shall cooperate with their counterparts at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in fields of mutual interest, with the aim in particular of improving the efficiency of their work and avoiding duplication of effort.

2.

The Conference of Presidents, in agreement with the competent authorities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, shall decide on the arrangements for implementing these provisions.

Rule 200

Joint parliamentary committees

1.

The European Parliament may set up joint parliamentary committees with the parliaments of States associated with the Union or States with which accession negotiations have been initiated.

Such committees may formulate recommendations for the parliaments involved. In the case of the European Parliament, these recommendations shall be referred to the committee responsible, which shall put forward proposals on the action to be taken.

2.

The general responsibilities of the various joint parliamentary committees shall be defined by the European Parliament and by the agreements with the third countries.

3.

Joint parliamentary committees shall be governed by the procedures laid down in the relevant agreement. Such procedures shall be based on the principle of parity between the delegation of the European Parliament and that of the parliament involved.

4.

Joint parliamentary committees shall draw up their own rules of procedure and submit them for approval to the bureaux of the European Parliament and of the parliament involved.

5.

The election of the members of European Parliament delegations to joint parliamentary committees and the constitution of the bureaux of these delegations shall take place in accordance with the procedure laid down for interparliamentary delegations.

TITLE VIII

PETITIONS

Rule 201

Right of petition

1.

Any citizen of the European Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State shall have the right to address, individually or in association with other citizens or persons, a petition to Parliament on a matter which comes within the European Union’s fields of activity and which affects him, her or it directly.

2.

Petitions to Parliament shall show the name, nationality and permanent address of each petitioner.

3.

Where a petition is signed by several natural or legal persons, the signatories shall designate a representative and deputy representatives who shall be regarded as the petitioners for the purposes of this Title.

If no such representatives have been designated the first signatory or another appropriate person shall be regarded as the petitioner.

4.

Each petitioner may at any time withdraw support for the petition.

After withdrawal of support by all the petitioners the petition shall become null and void.

5.

Petitions must be written in an official language of the European Union.

Petitions written in any other language will be considered only if the petitioner has attached a translation in an official language. Parliament’s correspondence with the petitioner shall employ the official language in which the translation is drawn up.

The Bureau may decide that petitions and correspondence with petitioners may be drafted in other languages used in a Member State.

6.

Petitions shall be entered in a register in the order in which they are received if they comply with the conditions laid down in paragraph 2; those that do not shall be filed, and the petitioner shall be informed of the reasons for this.

7.

Petitions entered in the register shall be forwarded by the President to the committee responsible, which shall first establish the admissibility or otherwise of the petition in accordance with Article 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

If the committee responsible fails to reach a consensus on the admissibility of the petition, it shall be declared admissible at the request of at least one quarter of the members of the committee.

8.

Petitions declared inadmissible by the committee shall be filed; the petitioner shall be informed of the decision and the reasons for it. Where possible, alternative means of redress may be recommended.

9.

Petitions, once registered, shall as a general rule become public documents, and the name of the petitioner and the contents of the petition may be published by Parliament for reasons of transparency.

10.

Notwithstanding the provisions contained in paragraph 9, the petitioner may request that his or her name be withheld in order to protect his or her privacy, in which case Parliament must comply with the request.

Where the petitioner’s complaint cannot be investigated for reasons of anonymity, the petitioner shall be consulted as to the further steps to be taken.

11.

The petitioner may request that his or her petition be treated confidentially, in which case suitable precautions shall be taken by Parliament to ensure that the contents are not made public. The petitioner shall be told under which precise conditions this provision is to apply.

12.

Where the committee deems it appropriate, it may refer the matter to the Ombudsman.

13.

Petitions addressed to Parliament by natural or legal persons who are neither citizens of the European Union nor reside in a Member State nor have their registered office in a Member State shall be registered and filed separately. The President shall send a monthly record of such petitions received during the previous month, indicating their subject-matter, to the committee responsible for considering petitions, which may ask to see those which it wishes to consider.

Rule 202

Examination of petitions

1.

Admissible petitions shall be considered by the committee responsible in the course of its normal activity, either through discussion at a regular meeting or by written procedure. Petitioners may be invited to participate in meetings of the committee if their petition is to be the subject of discussion, or they may ask to be present. The right to speak shall be granted to petitioners at the discretion of the Chair.

2.

The committee may, with regard to an admissible petition, decide to draw up an own-initiative report in accordance with Rule 48(1) or to submit a short motion for a resolution to Parliament, provided that there is no objection by the Conference of Presidents. Such motions for resolutions shall be placed on the draft agenda for the part-session held no later than 8 weeks after their adoption in committee. They shall be put to a single vote and shall also be without debate unless the Conference of Presidents exceptionally decides to apply Rule 139.

The committee may request opinions from other committees that have specific responsibility for the issue under consideration in accordance with Rule 49 and Annex VII.

3.

Where the report deals with, in particular, the application or interpretation of Union law or proposed changes to existing law, the committee responsible for the subject-matter shall be associated in accordance with Rule 49(1) and the first and second indents of Rule 50. The committee responsible shall accept without a vote suggestions for parts of the motion for a resolution received from the committee responsible for the subject-matter which deal with the application or interpretation of Union law or changes to existing law. If the committee responsible does not accept such suggestions, the associated committee may table them directly in plenary.

4.

An electronic register shall be set up in which citizens may lend or withdraw support to the petitioner, appending their own electronic signature to petitions which have been declared admissible and entered in the register.

5.

When investigating petitions, establishing facts or seeking solutions the committee may organise fact-finding visits to the Member State or region concerned by the petition.

Reports on the visits shall be drafted by their participants. They shall be forwarded to the President after approval by the committee.

6.

The committee may request assistance from the Commission particularly in the form of information on the application of, or compliance with, Union law and information or documents relevant to the petition. Representatives of the Commission shall be invited to attend meetings of the committee.

7.

The committee may ask the President to forward its opinion or recommendation to the Commission, the Council or the Member State authority concerned for action or response.

8.

The committee shall inform Parliament every 6 months of the outcome of its deliberations.

The committee shall, in particular, inform Parliament of the measures taken by the Council or the Commission on petitions referred to them by Parliament.

9.

The petitioner shall be informed of the decision taken by the committee and the reasons for that decision.

When consideration of an admissible petition has been concluded, it shall be declared closed and the petitioner informed.

Rule 203

Notice of petitions

1.

Notice shall be given in Parliament of the petitions entered in the register referred to in Rule 201(6) and the main decisions on the procedure to be followed in relation to specific petitions. Such announcements shall be entered in the minutes of proceedings.

2.

The title and a summary of the texts of petitions entered in the register, together with the texts of the opinions and the most important decisions forwarded in connection with the examination of the petitions, shall be made available to the public in a database, provided the petitioner agrees. Confidential petitions shall be preserved in the records of Parliament, where they shall be available for inspection by Members.

TITLE IX

OMBUDSMAN

Rule 204

Election of the Ombudsman

1.

At the start of each parliamentary term, immediately after his election or in the cases referred to in paragraph 8, the President shall call for nominations for the office of Ombudsman and set a time limit for their submission. A notice calling for nominations shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

2.

Nominations must have the support of at least 40 Members who are nationals of at least two Member States.

Each Member may support only one nomination.

Nominations shall include all the supporting documents needed to show conclusively that the nominee fulfils the conditions required by the Regulations on the Ombudsman.

3.

Nominations shall be forwarded to the committee responsible, which may ask to hear the nominees.

Such hearings shall be open to all Members.

4.

A list of admissible nominations in alphabetical order shall then be submitted to the vote of Parliament.

5.

The vote shall be held by secret ballot on the basis of a majority of the votes cast.

If no candidate is elected after the first two ballots, only the two candidates obtaining the largest number of votes in the second ballot may continue to stand.

In the event of any tie the oldest candidate shall be appointed.

6.

Before opening the vote, the President shall ensure that at least half of Parliament’s component Members are present.

7.

The person elected shall immediately be called upon to take an oath before the Court of Justice.

8.

The Ombudsman shall exercise his duties until his successor takes office, except in the case of his death or dismissal.

Rule 205

Activities of the Ombudsman

1.

The decision on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties and the provisions implementing that decision as adopted by the Ombudsman are annexed to these Rules of Procedure (21) for information.

2.

The Ombudsman shall, in accordance with Article 3(6) and (7) of the abovementioned decision, inform Parliament of cases of maladministration, on which the committee responsible may draw up a report. The Ombudsman shall also, in accordance with Article 3(8) of that decision, submit a report to Parliament at the end of each annual session on the outcome of his inquiries. The committee responsible shall draw up a report thereon which shall be submitted to Parliament for debate.

3.

The Ombudsman may also provide the committee responsible with information at its request, or be heard by it on his own initiative.

Rule 206

Dismissal of the Ombudsman

1.

One tenth of Parliament’s component Members may request the Ombudsman’s dismissal if he no longer fulfils the conditions required for the performance of his duties or is guilty of serious misconduct.

2.

The request shall be forwarded to the Ombudsman and to the committee responsible, which, if it decides by a majority of its members that the reasons are well founded, shall submit a report to Parliament. If he so requests, the Ombudsman shall be heard before the report is put to the vote. Parliament shall, following a debate, take a decision by secret ballot.

3.

Before opening the vote, the President shall ensure that half of Parliament’s component Members are present.

4.

If the vote is in favour of the Ombudsman’s dismissal and he does not resign accordingly the President shall, at the latest by the part-session following that at which the vote was held, apply to the Court of Justice to have the Ombudsman dismissed with a request for a ruling to be given without delay.

Resignation by the Ombudsman shall terminate the procedure.

TITLE X

PARLIAMENT’S SECRETARIAT

Rule 207

Secretariat

1.

Parliament shall be assisted by a Secretary-General appointed by the Bureau.

The Secretary-General shall give a solemn undertaking before the Bureau to perform his duties conscientiously and with absolute impartiality.

2.

The Secretary-General shall head a Secretariat the composition and organisation of which shall be determined by the Bureau.

3.

The Bureau shall decide on the establishment plan of the Secretariat and lay down regulations relating to the administrative and financial situation of officials and other servants.

The Bureau shall also decide on the categories of officials and other servants to which Articles 11 to 13 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union are to apply wholly or in part.

The President of Parliament shall inform the appropriate institutions of the European Union accordingly.

TITLE XI

POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES RELATING TO POLITICAL PARTIES AT EUROPEAN LEVEL

Rule 208

Powers and responsibilities of the President

The President shall represent Parliament in its relations with political parties at European level, in accordance with Rule 20(4).

Rule 209

Powers and responsibilities of the Bureau

1.

The Bureau shall take a decision on any application for funding submitted by a political party at European level and on the distribution of appropriations amongst the beneficiary political parties. It shall draw up a list of the beneficiaries and of the amounts allocated.

2.

The Bureau shall decide whether to suspend or reduce funding and whether to recover amounts which have been wrongly paid.

3.

After the end of the budget year the Bureau shall approve the beneficiary political parties’ final activity reports and final financial statements.

4.

Under the terms and conditions laid down in Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council the Bureau may grant technical assistance to political parties at European level in accordance with their proposals. The Bureau may delegate specific types of decisions to grant technical assistance to the Secretary-General.

5.

In all the cases set out in paragraphs 1 to 4 the Bureau shall act on the basis of a proposal from the Secretary-General. Except in the cases set out in paragraphs 1 and 4 the Bureau shall, before taking a decision, hear the representatives of the political party concerned. The Bureau may at any time consult the Conference of Presidents.

6.

Where Parliament - following verification - establishes that a political party at European level has ceased to observe the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, the Bureau shall decide that that political party shall be excluded from funding.

Rule 210

Powers and responsibilities of the committee responsible and of Parliament’s plenary

1.

At the request of one quarter of Parliament’s Members representing at least three political groups, the President, following an exchange of views in the Conference of Presidents, shall call upon the committee responsible to verify whether or not a political party at European level is continuing (particularly in its programme and in its activities) to observe the principles upon which the European Union is founded, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.

2.

Before submitting a proposal for a decision to Parliament, the committee responsible shall hear the representatives of the political party concerned. It shall ask for and consider the opinion of a committee of independent eminent persons, as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003.

3.

Parliament shall vote (by a majority of the votes cast) on the proposal for a decision establishing that the political party concerned either does or does not observe the principles set out in paragraph 1. No amendment may be tabled. In either case, if the proposal for a decision does not secure a majority, a decision to the contrary shall be deemed to have been adopted.

4.

Parliament’s decision shall apply with effect from the day upon which the request referred to in paragraph 1 was tabled.

5.

The President shall represent Parliament on the committee of independent eminent persons.

6.

The committee responsible shall draw up the report provided for in Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 on the application of that Regulation and the activities funded, and shall submit it in plenary.

TITLE XII

APPLICATION AND AMENDMENT OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE

Rule 211

Application of the Rules of Procedure

1.

Should doubt arise over the application or interpretation of these Rules of Procedure, the President may refer the matter to the committee responsible for examination.

Committee Chairs may do so when such a doubt arises in the course of the committee’s work and is related to it.

2.

The committee shall decide whether it is necessary to propose an amendment to the Rules of Procedure. If this should be the case, it shall proceed in accordance with Rule 212.

3.

Should the committee decide that an interpretation of the existing Rules is sufficient, it shall forward its interpretation to the President who shall inform Parliament at its next part-session.

4.

Should a political group or at least 40 Members contest the committee’s interpretation, the matter shall be put to the vote in Parliament. Adoption of the text shall be by a majority of the votes cast, provided that at least one third of Parliament’s component Members are present. In the event of rejection, the matter shall be referred back to the committee.

5.

Uncontested interpretations and interpretations adopted by Parliament shall be appended in italic print as explanatory notes to the appropriate Rule or Rules.

6.

Interpretations shall constitute precedents for the future application and interpretation of the Rules concerned.

7.

The Rules of Procedure and interpretations shall be reviewed regularly by the committee responsible.

8.

Where these Rules confer rights on a specific number of Members, that number shall be automatically adjusted to the nearest whole number representing the same percentage of Parliament’s membership whenever the total size of Parliament is increased, in particular following enlargements of the European Union.

Rule 212

Amendment of the Rules of Procedure

1.

Any Member may propose amendments to these Rules and to their annexes accompanied, where appropriate, by short justifications.

Such proposed amendments shall be translated, printed, distributed and referred to the committee responsible, which shall examine them and decide whether to submit them to Parliament.

For the purpose of applying Rules 156, 157 and 161 to consideration of such proposed amendments in Parliament, references made in those Rules to the ‘original text’ or the proposal for a legislative act shall be considered as referring to the provision in force at the time.

2.

Amendments to these Rules shall be adopted only if they secure the votes of a majority of the component Members of Parliament.

3.

Unless otherwise specified when the vote is taken, amendments to these Rules and to their annexes shall enter into force on the first day of the part-session following their adoption.

TITLE XIII

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Rule 213

The symbols of the Union

1.

Parliament shall recognise and espouse the following symbols of the Union:

the flag showing a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background,

the anthem based on the ‘Ode to Joy’ from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven,

the motto ‘United in diversity’.

2.

Parliament shall celebrate Europe Day on 9 May.

3.

The flag shall be flown at all Parliament premises and on the occasion of official events. The flag shall be used in each meeting room of the Parliament.

4.

The anthem shall be performed at the opening of each constitutive sitting and at other solemn sittings, particularly to welcome heads of State or government or to greet new Members following enlargements.

5.

The motto shall be reproduced on Parliament’s official documents.

6.

The Bureau shall examine further use of the symbols within the Parliament. The Bureau shall lay down detailed provisions for the implementation of this Rule.

Rule 214

Unfinished business

At the end of the last part-session before elections, all Parliament’s unfinished business shall be deemed to have lapsed, subject to the provisions of the second paragraph.

At the beginning of each parliamentary term, the Conference of Presidents shall take a decision on reasoned requests from parliamentary committees and other institutions to resume or continue the consideration of such matters.

These provisions shall not apply to petitions and communications that do not require a decision.

Rule 215

Arrangement of annexes

The annexes to these Rules of Procedure shall be arranged under the following four headings:

(a)

implementing provisions for procedures under these Rules, adopted by a majority of the votes cast (Annex VII);

(b)

provisions adopted in implementation of specific terms of the Rules of Procedure and in accordance with the procedures and majority rules laid down therein (Annexes I, II, III, IV, VI, VIII(A), (C) and (D), and X);

(c)

interinstitutional agreements or other provisions adopted in accordance with the Treaties which are applicable within Parliament or which have a bearing on its operation. Decisions to annex such provisions to the Rules of Procedure shall be taken by Parliament by a majority of the votes cast, on a proposal from its committee responsible (Annexes VIII(B), IX, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XIX and XX);

(d)

guidelines and codes of conduct adopted by the relevant bodies of Parliament (Annexes XVI, XVII, XVIII and XXI).

Rule 216

Corrigenda

1.

If an error is identified in a text adopted by Parliament, the President shall, where appropriate, refer a draft corrigendum to the committee responsible.

2.

If an error is identified in a text adopted by Parliament and agreed with other institutions, the President shall seek the agreement of those institutions on the necessary corrections before proceeding in accordance with paragraph 1.

3.

The committee responsible shall examine the draft corrigendum and submit it to Parliament if it is satisfied that an error has occurred which can be corrected in the proposed manner.

4.

The corrigendum shall be announced at the following part-session. It shall be deemed approved unless, not later than 48 hours after its announcement, a request is made by a political group or at least 40 Members that it be put to the vote. If the corrigendum is not approved, it shall be referred back to the committee responsible which may propose an amended corrigendum or close the procedure.

5.

Approved corrigenda shall be published in the same way as the text to which they refer. Rules 72, 73 and 74 shall apply mutatis mutandis.


(1)  See Annex I.

(2)  See Annex X.

(3)  See Annex X.

(4)  See Annex XII.

(5)  Pursuant to the conclusions of the European Council of 11 and 12 December 2008.

(6)  See Annex XIV.

(7)  See the relevant decision of the Conference of Presidents, reproduced in Annex XVIII to these Rules of Procedure.

(8)  See Annex XXI.

(9)  See Annex VI.

(10)  Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994, Accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts, point 4 (OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2).

(11)  Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts, point 9 (OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1).

(12)  See Annex XVII.

(13)  See Annex II.

(14)  See Annex III.

(15)  See Annex III.

(16)  Extended by Parliament’s decision of 11 March 2009.

(17)  See Annex XVI.

(18)  See Annex VII.

(19)  See Annex IX.

(20)  See Annex XIV.

(21)  See Annex XI.


ANNEX I

PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE APPLICATION OF RULE 9(1) - TRANSPARENCY AND MEMBERS’ FINANCIAL INTERESTS

Article 1

1.   Before speaking in Parliament or in one of its bodies or if proposed as rapporteur, any Member who has a direct financial interest in the subject under debate shall disclose this interest to the meeting orally.

2.   Before Members may be validly nominated as office-holders of Parliament or one of its bodies, under Rule 13, 191 or 198(2), or participate in an official delegation, under Rule 68 or 198(2), they must have duly completed the declaration provided for in Article 2.

Article 2

The Quaestors shall keep a register in which all Members shall make a personal, detailed declaration of:

(a)

their professional activities and any other remunerated functions or activities;

(b)

any salary which the Member receives for the exercise of a mandate in another parliament;

(c)

any support, whether financial or in terms of staff or material, additional to that provided by Parliament and granted to them in connection with their political activities by third parties, whose identity shall be disclosed.

Members of Parliament shall refrain from accepting any other gift or benefit in the performance of their duties.

The declarations in the register shall be made under the personal responsibility of the Member and must be updated every year.

The Bureau may, from time to time, draw up a list of matters which it considers should be declared in the register.

If after the appropriate request Members do not fulfil their obligation to submit a declaration under (a) and (b), the President shall remind them once again to submit the declaration within 2 months. If the declaration has not been submitted within the time limit, the names of the Members concerned together with an indication of the infringement shall be published in the minutes of the first day of each part-session after expiry of the time limit. If the Members concerned continue to refuse to submit the declaration after the infringement has been published the President shall take action in accordance with Rule 153 to suspend them.

Chairs of groupings of Members, both intergroups and other unofficial groupings of Members, shall be required to declare any support, whether in cash or kind (e.g. secretarial assistance), which if offered to Members as individuals would have to be declared pursuant to this Article.

The Quaestors shall be responsible for keeping a register and drawing up detailed rules for the declaration of outside support by such groupings.

Article 3

The register shall be open to the public for inspection.

The register may be open to the public for inspection electronically.

Article 4

Members shall be subject to the obligations imposed on them by the legislation of the Member State in which they are elected as regards the declaration of assets.


ANNEX II

CONDUCT OF QUESTION TIME UNDER RULE 116

A.   GUIDELINES

1.

Questions shall be admissible only where they

are concise and are drafted so as to permit a brief answer to be given,

fall within the competence and sphere of responsibility of the Commission and the Council and are of general interest,

do not require extensive prior study or research by the institution concerned,

are clearly worded and relate to a specific matter,

do not contain assertions or opinions,

do not relate to strictly personal matters,

are not aimed at procuring documents or statistical information,

are interrogatory in form.

2.

A question shall be inadmissible if the agenda already provides for the subject to be discussed with the participation of the institution concerned.

3.

A question shall be inadmissible if an identical or similar question has been put down and answered during the preceding 3 months, or to the extent that it merely seeks information on the follow-up to a specific resolution of Parliament of a kind which the Commission has already provided in a written follow-up communication, unless there are new developments or the author is seeking further information. In the first case a copy of the question and the answer shall be given to the author.

Supplementary questions

4.

Each Member may follow up the reply with a supplementary question to any question and may put in all two supplementary questions.

5.

Supplementary questions shall be subject to the rules of admissibility laid down in these Guidelines.

6.

The President shall rule on the admissibility of supplementary questions and shall limit their number so that each Member who has put down a question may receive an answer to it.

The President shall not be obliged to declare a supplementary question admissible, even if it satisfies the foregoing conditions of admissibility, if:

(a)

it is likely to upset the normal conduct of Question Time; or

(b)

the main question to which it relates has already been adequately covered by other supplementary questions; or

(c)

it has no direct bearing on the main question.

Answers to questions

7.

The institution concerned shall ensure that answers are concise and are relevant to the subject of the question.

8.

If the content of the questions concerned permits it, the President may decide, after consulting the questioners, that the institution concerned should answer them together.

9.

A question may be answered only if the questioner is present or has notified the President in writing, before Question Time begins, of the name of a substitute.

10.

If neither the questioner nor a substitute is present, the question shall lapse.

11.

If a Member tables a question, but neither that Member nor a substitute is present at Question Time, the President shall remind the Member in writing of his or her responsibility to be present or substituted. If the President has to send such a letter three times in the space of any 12-month period, the Member concerned shall lose the right to table questions at Question Time for a 6-month period.

12.

Questions that remain unanswered for lack of time shall be answered in accordance with Rule 117(4), first subparagraph, unless their authors request the application of Rule 117(3).

13.

The procedure for answers in writing shall be governed by Rule 117(3) and (5).

Time limits

14.

Questions shall be tabled at least 1 week before Question Time begins. Questions not tabled within this time limit may be taken during Question Time with the consent of the institution concerned.

Questions declared admissible shall be distributed to Members and forwarded to the institutions concerned.

B.   RECOMMENDATIONS

(extract from resolution of Parliament of 13 November 1986)

The European Parliament,

1.

Recommends stricter application of the guidelines for the conduct of Question Time under Rule 43 (1), and in particular of point 1 of those guidelines concerning admissibility;

2.

Recommends more frequent use of the power conferred on the President of the European Parliament by Rule 43(3) (2) to group questions for Question Time according to subject; considers, however, that only the questions falling within the first half of the list of questions tabled for a given part-session should be subject to such grouping;

3.

Recommends, as regards supplementary questions, that as a general rule the President should allow one supplementary question from the questioner and one or at most two supplementaries put by Members belonging preferably to a different political group and/or Member State from the author of the main question; recalls that supplementary questions must be concise and interrogatory in form and suggests that their duration should not exceed 30 seconds;

4.

Invites the Commission and the Council, pursuant to point 7 of the guidelines, to ensure that answers are concise and relevant to the subject of the question.


(1)  Now Rule 116.

(2)  Now Rule 116(3).


ANNEX III

GUIDELINES FOR QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWER UNDER RULES 117 AND 118

1.

Questions for written answer shall:

clearly specify the addressee to whom they are to be transmitted through the usual interinstitutional channels,

fall within the competence and sphere of responsibility of the addressee and be of general interest,

be concise and contain an understandable interrogation,

not contain offensive language,

not relate to strictly personal matters.

2.

If a question does not comply with these guidelines, the Secretariat shall provide the author with advice on how the question may be drafted in order to be admissible.

3.

If an identical or similar question has been put and answered during the preceding 6 months, or to the extent that a question merely seeks information on the follow-up to a specific resolution of Parliament of a kind which the Commission has already provided in a written follow-up communication, the Secretariat shall transmit a copy of the previous question and answer to the author. The renewed question shall not be forwarded to the addressee unless the author invokes new significant developments or is seeking further information.

4.

If a question seeks factual or statistical information that is already available to Parliament’s library, the latter shall inform the Member, who may withdraw the question.

5.

Questions concerning related matters may be answered together.


ANNEX IV

GUIDELINES AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES TO BE FOLLOWED WHEN CHOOSING THE SUBJECTS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE AGENDA FOR THE DEBATE ON CASES OF BREACHES OF HUMAN RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW PROVIDED FOR UNDER RULE 122

Fundamental principles

1.

Priority shall be given to motions for resolutions intended to lead to a vote in Parliament addressed to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, third countries or international bodies, before a particular event, provided that the current part-session is the only part-session of the European Parliament at which a vote can be held in time.

2.

Motions for resolutions shall not exceed 500 words.

3.

Subjects relating to the responsibilities of the European Union as laid down by the Treaties shall be given priority, provided they are of major importance.

4.

The number of subjects chosen shall be such as to allow a debate commensurate with their importance and should not exceed three, including sub-chapters.

Practical details

5.

The fundamental principles applied in determining the choice of subjects to be included in the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law shall be notified to Parliament and the political groups.

Limitation and allocation of speaking time

6.

In order to make better use of the time available, the President, after consulting the political group Chairs, shall reach agreement with the Council and the Commission on the limitation of the speaking time for their respective statements, if any, in the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Deadline for tabling amendments

7.

The deadline for tabling amendments shall allow sufficient time between their distribution in the official languages and the time set for the debate on the motions for resolutions to enable Members and political groups to give them due consideration.


ANNEX V

Deleted


ANNEX VI

PROCEDURE FOR THE CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION OF DECISIONS ON THE GRANTING OF DISCHARGE

Article 1

Documents

1.   The following documents shall be printed and distributed:

(a)

the revenue and expenditure account, the financial analysis and the balance sheet forwarded by the Commission;

(b)

the Annual Report and special reports of the Court of Auditors, accompanied by the institutions’ answers;

(c)

the statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

(d)

the Council recommendation.

2.   These documents shall be referred to the committee responsible. Any committee concerned may deliver an opinion.

3.   If other committees wish to deliver opinions, the President shall set the time limit within which these shall be communicated to the committee responsible.

Article 2

Consideration of report

1.   Parliament shall consider a report from the committee responsible concerning discharge by 30 April of the year following the adoption of the Court of Auditors’ Annual Report as required by the Financial Regulation.

2.   Parliament’s Rules relating to amendments and voting shall apply unless otherwise provided in this Annex.

Article 3

Content of the Report

1.   The discharge report drawn up by the committee responsible shall comprise:

(a)

a proposal for a decision granting discharge or postponing the discharge decision (April part-session vote) or a proposal for a decision granting or refusing to grant discharge (October part-session vote);

(b)

a proposal for a decision closing the accounts of all the Union’s revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities;

(c)

a motion for a resolution containing comments accompanying the proposal for a decision referred to in point (a) including both an assessment of the Commission’s budgetary management over the financial year and observations relating to the implementation of expenditure for the future;

(d)

as an Annex, a list of the documents received from the Commission and those requested but not received;

(e)

the opinions of the committees concerned.

2.   If the committee responsible proposes postponing the discharge decision, the relevant motion for a resolution shall also set out, inter alia:

(a)

the reasons for postponement;

(b)

the further action that the Commission is expected to take and the deadlines for doing so;

(c)

the documents required for Parliament to take an inform