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“The European Parliament will become more transparent and efficient” say S&Ds

Date

13 Dec 2016

Sections

Global Europe
Justice & Home Affairs

After 18 months of intense discussions, British Labour MEP Richard Corbett led a cross-party majority today in Strasbourg on a set of reforms to improve democracy, transparency and efficiency in the work of the European Parliament. The revision of the European Parliament’s rules of procedure includes among other things more transparency and greater safeguards in first-reading agreements, a ban on MEPs having second paid jobs as lobbyists, and strengthened sanctions for anyone making defamatory or xenophobic statements in plenary. The new rules will be implemented as of January 2017.

S&D MEP Richard Corbett said after the vote:
 
”Today’s vote ends almost two years of hard work to improve the functioning of the European Parliament. Our institution will be more democratic, more transparent and much more efficient. This is indeed a balance and reasonable reform. This new step forward will rationalise the work of the European Parliament and will benefit the European citizens.
 
"For instance, the plenary will have a say on authorising - or not - the opening of negotiations with other institutions in view of reaching first-reading agreements. In 2014, 137 out of 148 legislative texts were approved at first reading. This can now be checked by plenary before embarking on such a procedure.
 
"We are taking several steps forward on transparency.  MEPs will be banned from taking a paid lobbying job during their mandate. After they step down, their privileges as ex-MEPs – such as having free access to the Parliament – will be denied if they become lobbyists after their mandate. Rapporteurs will be able to list the people they have met while writing their report.  More progress is expected in the months to come on those aspects that need agreement with the other institutions.
 
"The Parliament will also be more efficient. We are limiting the number of written questions, which had reached the excessive and ineffective level of 60,000 per year. We are reducing the number of motions for resolution to one per month per member and the roll-call votes in plenary will be limited to 100 per group and per session in order to reduce the excessive length of some of the voting sessions.
 
"It has become a necessity to rationalise our work and internal procedures. We have reduced to three the number of thresholds which are needed to take action.
 
"I am also pleased that the Parliament reached an agreement to strengthen sanctions against MEPs making inappropriate statements or attempting to disrupt parliamentary activity. In cases of severe misconduct, an MEP could be banned from representing the Parliament externally (in external delegations, inter-institutional meetings, etc for instance) for up to a year. 

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