European Parliament approves more transparency and efficiency in its internal rules

European Parliament 2019

Parlement européen Strasbourg, France (Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Parliament adopted changes to its internal rules on Thursday to operate more efficiently and in a more transparent way.

The key changes to the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure adopted on Thursday relate to Members’ standards of conduct (including transparency rules and measures to prevent psychological or sexual harassment), parliamentary questions to the Council of Ministers and the European Commission.

The amended rulebook was approved by 496 votes to 114, with 33 abstentions.

Increased transparency

The key actors of the legislative process – MEPs steering legislation through parliament, known as rapporteurs, shadow rapporteurs and committee chairs – will be required to publish online all scheduled meetings with interest representatives named on the Transparency Register. Other MEPs are nevertheless also encouraged to publish online any meetings they hold with interest representatives. Parliament’s website will have to be technically adapted in order to allow Members to publish information on their use of the General Expenditure Allowance.

Standards of conduct

The new rules provide that Members must refrain from “improper behaviour” (for example from displaying banners at plenary sittings), “offensive language” (for example defamation, ‘hate speech’ or inciting discrimination) and psychological or sexual harassment. Parliament’s Code of Conduct will now be annexed to the Rules of Procedure and MEPs must commit to respect this code in a written declaration. Refusing to sign such a declaration could lead to an MEP being barred from holding a senior office, being appointed as rapporteur or representing the Parliament in a trilogue or an official delegation. A serious breach of these rules by a Member may entail penalties.

European political parties and foundations

According to the treaties, “political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union”. An organisation has to comply with specific conditions to qualify as a European political party or European foundation. According to the new rules, a group of at least 50 citizens can request that the European Parliament asks the Authority for European political parties and foundations to verify whether a given European political party or foundation fulfils these requirements.

The reform also includes measures on parliamentary questions, in particular interpellations to the Council and the European Commission, Committees’ consultations on confidential information, rules on standing Committees, voting on amendments and the rule on parliamentary Intergroups.

Quote

“This set of revisions to Parliament’s rulebook continues the step-by-step process of making parliament more effective, efficient and transparent. It has grown out of the first experience of the general revision of the rules adopted in December 2016.” – said the rapporteur Richard Corbett (S&D, UK).

Next steps

The approved changes will enter into force on the first day of the next part-session following their adoption, i.e. on 11 February 2019, except for some provisions referring to the MEPs’ conduct, standing committees, and committee office holders that will enter into force at the opening of the next parliamentary term on 2 July 2019.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Poor diets may to be blame for 20cm height gaps among children, study says

UN agency chiefs issue ‘call to action’ on behalf of refugee children

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2015: Why interns should matter to business

UN rights chief says ‘bar must be set very high’ for investigation of murdered Saudi journalist

Antitrust: Commission imposes binding obligations on Gazprom to enable free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets

Statement following the European Medicines Agency review of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca

How one change to shipping goods could change the way we live

Central Mali: Top UN genocide prevention official sounds alarm over recent ethnically-targeted killings

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Arlington, USA: kick-off of the fifth round of the EU-US boxing match

EU to spend €135.5 billion in 2014 or 6.5% less than this year

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Stricter rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

How COVID-19 vaccine efforts could help defeat other diseases

Who should pay for workers to be reskilled?

DR Congo President and UN chief meet at a ‘historic moment’ for democracy in the country

Strong support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s integration into the European Union

3 ways AI will change the nature of cyber attacks

Women Leadership: Paths to a Humanized Medicine

Reforms in a few countries drive a decline in average OECD labour taxes

UN standing with Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique as Southern Africa death toll from deadly cyclone mounts

‘Everything is still to be agreed’: informal talks between Parliament and Council on Rule of law conditionality continue

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

Mozambique’s Beira city ‘returning to life’, elsewhere UN teams assess damage, deliver assistance

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

State aid: Commission approves prolongation and modification of German scheme to support electricity production from renewable energy sources

Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Is academia losing its chance to capitalize on technology?

The fat from your next takeaway meal could help clean up global shipping

COP25: UN climate change conference, 5 things you need to know

This African company is producing cashew nuts sustainably. Here’s how

Can self-charging batteries keep us connected for ever? A young scientist explains

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Third review welcomes progress while identifying steps for improvement

Foreign Investment Screening: new European framework to enter into force in April 2019

Mergers: Commission fines Canon €28 million for partially implementing its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation before notification and merger control approval

UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations

Cyclone Idai: UNICEF warns of ‘race against time’ to protect children, prevent spread of disease in flood-ravaged Mozambique

To build cities fit for the future, we need to think differently

Barcelona’s ‘superblocks’ could save lives and cut pollution, says report

The ‘ASEAN way’: what it is, how it must change for the future

How businesses can navigate a global economic slowdown

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Disability inclusion, minimum wage, and LGBTI rights in Botswana

China Unlimited Special Report: at the heart of Beijing

Globally, youth are the largest poverty-stricken group, says new UN report

Hot air behind your cold fridge? Why the future of cooling must be sustainable

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

3 reasons why most Africans aren’t on the internet – and how to connect them

Why cooperative and competitive federalism is the secret to India’s success

State aid: Commission approves €3 billion Portuguese guarantee schemes for SMEs and midcaps affected by Coronavirus outbreak

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

This is what Belgium’s traffic-choked capital is doing about emissions

Why we need different generations in the workplace

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

UN rights experts ‘gravely’ concerned at spike in civilian casualties in north-west Myanmar following internet shutdown

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s