Sommaire: 3 November 2009, Strasbourg - The European Parliament is preparing for the increased powers it is set to receive under the new Lisbon Treaty. Internal rules need to be reformed to take account of the arrival of 18 new Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs), increased legislative powers and a new procedure for adopting the EU budget which puts Parliament on an equal footing with Council.
Altogether, 18 new MEPs from 12 Member States will take their seats in Parliament after the new Treaty enters into force and a legal text confirming the addition of 18 MEPs has been ratified by all Member States. Until then, the MEPs-designate will not enjoy voting rights but can receive an observer status, a possibility now added to the Parliament Rules of Procedure by the EP Constitutional Affairs Committee.
New legislative powers
New rules also take into account the significant increase in Parliament's legislative powers. With the Lisbon Treaty, almost all issues will fall under the "ordinary legislative procedure", in which Parliament and Council are equal as lawmakers.
Budget rules are also being revised as Parliament will enjoy full parity with Council in deciding the EU budget. In addition, the procedure of appointing the Commission President has to be modified as more power is given to Parliament in the matter.
Further changes in the EP's rules of procedure provide for the legislative impact of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Parliament's right to propose treaty changes and the increased influence of national parliaments.
The changes must now be adopted by the full Parliament: it is expected to do so during the November plenary.
The report by David Martin (S&D, UK) was adopted in the Constitutional Affairs Committee by 19 votes in favour, 2 against and 1 abstention.