BETA


2014/2218(INI) Annual report of the activities of the Committee on Petitions 2014

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead PETI GERINGER DE OEDENBERG Lidia Joanna (icon: S&D S&D) BECKER Heinz K. (icon: PPE PPE), MARIAS Notis (icon: ECR ECR), REDA Julia (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), EVI Eleonora (icon: EFDD EFDD)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 227-p7

Events

2016/06/01
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2016/01/21
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2016/01/21
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2016/01/21
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 481 votes to 67, with 44 abstentions, a resolution on the activities of the Committee on Petitions during 2014.

In terms of statistics , the report noted that 2 714 petitions were received in 2014 , which is almost 6 % down on the figure for 2013 when 2 885 petitions were lodged with Parliament: 790 petitions were considered admissible and followed up; 1070 petitions were considered inadmissible; whereas 817 petitions were admissible and have been closed; 37 petitions had their recommendation challenged. These figures amount to nearly twice as many petitions as were received in 2009.

However, the number of petitions received is modest when compared to the EU’s total population, which indicates that the vast majority of EU citizens are not yet aware of the right to petition, or of its possible usefulness as a means of drawing the attention of the EU institutions and the Member States to matters which affect them and about which they are concerned. Furthermore, even though some EU citizens are aware of the petition process, there is still widespread confusion about the EU's field of activity , as is shown by the high number of inadmissible petitions received (39.4 %).

Prompt processing of petitions : Parliament pointed out that admissible petitions should be discussed in the Committee within nine months of the petition being filed . Moreover, the resolution stated that better institutional coordination with institutions at EU, national and regional level, and with other bodies, is essential if the issues raised by petitions are to be addressed in a prompt manner. It underlined the growing importance of the Committee on Petitions as a scrutiny committee that should be a point of reference for the transposition and implementation of the European legislation at the administrative level in Member States.

Parliament considered it essential that cooperation with the national parliaments , and their relevant committees, and with the governments of the Member States be strengthened, and that Member State authorities be encouraged to be fully transparent in transposing and applying EU law. It urged the creation well-functioning petition committees in national parliaments, which would increase the effectiveness of the cooperation between the Committee on Petitions and the national parliaments. It called for the EU institutions to take greater account of the work carried out by the European Ombudsman and for additional mechanisms to ensure the direct involvement of citizens in the decision-making processes of the European institutions.

Parliament warned about the persisting backlog in the treatment of petitions, and called for an increase in the human resources available within the Committee's Secretariat. It emphasised the requirement that the inadmissibility or closure of a petition on account of it being unfounded must be carefully justified vis-à-vis the petitioner .

Role of the Commission : stressing the Commission’s significant role in assisting with cases raised by petitioners, Parliament called on the Commission to:

monitor, in a proactive and timely fashion, certain projects reported by petitioners in which EU law has been, or will in the future be, breached through the implementation of official planning; remedy such instances of incorrect transposition of EU law , or of failure to transpose EU law, as have been reported in a large number of petitions and be less hesitant in making use of the initiation of infringement proceedings in this regard; engage fully in the process of petitions, in particular by conducting thorough inquiries of the admissible cases submitted to it, and, ultimately, to provide accurate and updated answers to the petitioners in writing; facilitate access to documents with all relevant information related to EU Pilot procedures, particularly with regard to petitions received; ensure proactive monitoring , and timely preventive action, by the Commission where there is well-founded evidence that certain planned and published projects may breach EU legislation.

Wide range of issues : the resolution stressed the wide range of the subjects raised in the petitions filed by citizens, such as: (i) fundamental rights, (ii) human rights, (iii) the rights of persons with disabilities, (iv) the internal market, (v) environmental law, (vi) labour relations, (vii) migration policies, (viii) trade agreements, (ix) public health issues, (x) separation or divorce of parents which raise child welfare issues, (xi) transport, (xii) animal rights and (xiii) discrimination. The Committee on Petitions must specialise its work further on the major policies to which petitioners refer.

Parliament pointed to the important work carried out by the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities . It called, in this respect, for the capacity of the Committee on Petitions and its Secretariat to be enhanced, enabling the Committee properly to fulfil its protection role.

Members also stressed citizens’ concern regarding:

the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations in which the Commission is participating, the Commission should urgently implement the recommendations made by the European Ombudsman in this regard; alleged instances of injustice that have occurred in the course of administrative and judicial procedures for the separation or divorce of parents in which issues concerning the custody of young children and forced adoptions are raised.

Parliament pointed out the large number of petitions received: (i) rejecting the use of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of gas and oil from the subsoil, and the environmental, economic and social consequences linked to the use of this technique; (ii) highly criticising migration policies , trade and external policies in terms of their compliance with provisions to ensure the human rights of migrants.

Improving the examination of petitions : Parliament stressed that the organisation of public hearings is an important way of examining problems raised by petitioners, and stressed the importance of ensuring that the Committee on Petitions has a fully operational internet portal through which petitioners may effectively register, submit their petition, upload supporting documents, support admissible petitions and receive information about, as well as automatic e-mail alerts about changes to the status of, their petitions.

Documents
2016/01/21
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2015/12/10
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Petitions adopted the own-initiative report by Lidia Joanna GERINGER de OEDENBERG (S&D, PL) on the activities of the Committee on Petitions during 2014.

The purpose of the annual report on the activities of the Committee on Petitions aims to present an analysis of the petitions received in 2014 as well as to discuss possible improvements in procedures and in relations with other institutions;

In terms of statistics, the report noted that 2 714 petitions were received in 2014 , which is almost 6 % down on the figure for 2013 when 2 885 petitions were lodged with Parliament: 790 petitions were considered admissible and followed up; 1070 petitions were considered inadmissible; whereas 817 petitions were admissible and have been closed; 37 petitions had their recommendation challenged. These figures amount to nearly twice as many petitions as were received in 2009.

However, the number of petitions received is modest when compared to the EU’s total population, which indicates that the vast majority of EU citizens are not yet aware of the right to petition, or of its possible usefulness as a means of drawing the attention of the EU institutions and the Member States to matters which affect them and about which they are concerned. Furthermore, even though some EU citizens are aware of the petition process, there is still widespread confusion about the EU's field of activity , as is shown by the high number of inadmissible petitions received (39.4 %).

Improve institutional coordination : the report stated that better institutional coordination with institutions at EU, national and regional level, and with other bodies, is essential if the issues raised by petitions are to be addressed in a prompt manner. It underlined the growing importance of the Committee on Petitions as a scrutiny committee that should be a point of reference for the transposition and implementation of the European legislation at the administrative level in Member States.

Members considered it essential that cooperation with the national parliaments , and their relevant committees, and with the governments of the Member States be strengthened, and that Member State authorities be encouraged to be fully transparent in transposing and applying EU law. They urged the creation well-functioning petition committees in national parliaments, which would increase the effectiveness of the cooperation between the Committee on Petitions and the national parliaments. They called for the EU institutions to take greater account of the work carried out by the European Ombudsman and for additional mechanisms to ensure the direct involvement of citizens in the decision-making processes of the European institutions.

The report warned about the persisting backlog in the treatment of petitions, and called for an increase in the human resources available within the Committee's Secretariat. It considered as well that Parliament has a particular obligation to ensure that inadmissible or unfounded petitions are not declared inadmissible, or are not closed, for an unjustifiably long period of time, and emphasised, in this context, the inadmissibility or closure of a petition must be justified vis-à-vis the petitioner.

Role of the Commission : stressing the Commission’s significant role in assisting with cases raised by petitioners, the report called on the Commission to:

monitor, in a proactive and timely fashion, certain projects reported by petitioners in which EU law has been, or will in the future be, breached through the implementation of official planning; remedy such instances of incorrect transposition of EU law , or of failure to transpose EU law, as have been reported in a large number of petitions and be less hesitant in making use of the initiation of infringement proceedings in this regard; engage fully in the process of petitions, in particular by conducting thorough inquiries of the admissible cases submitted to it, and, ultimately, to provide accurate and updated answers to the petitioners in writing; facilitate access to documents with all relevant information related to EU Pilot procedures, particularly with regard to petitions received; ensure proactive monitoring , and timely preventive action, by the Commission where there is well-founded evidence that certain planned and published projects may breach EU legislation.

Wide range of issues : the report stressed the wide range of the subjects raised in the petitions filed by citizens, such as: (i) fundamental rights, (ii) human rights, (iii) the rights of persons with disabilities, (iv) the internal market, (v) environmental law, (vi) labour relations, (vii) migration policies, (viii) trade agreements, (ix) public health issues, (x) separation or divorce of parents which raise child welfare issues, (xi) transport, (xii) animal rights and (xiii) discrimination. The Committee on Petitions must specialise its work further by nominating internal rapporteurs on the major policies to which petitioners refer.

Members also stressed citizens' concern regarding, and rejection of, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the opaque negotiations in which the Commission is participating, as highlighted in numerous petitions received in 2014. They pointed to the importance of the Commission urgently implementing the recommendations made by the European Ombudsman in this regard.

The committee underlined the high number of petitions received that reject the use of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of gas and oil from the subsoil, and that highlight the harmful environmental, economic and social consequences linked to the use of this technique.

Lastly, it felt that the organisation of public hearings is an important way of examining problems raised by petitioners, and stressed the importance of ensuring that the Committee on Petitions has a fully operational internet portal through which petitioners may effectively register, submit their petition, upload supporting documents, support admissible petitions and receive information about, as well as automatic e-mail alerts about changes to the status of, their petitions.

Documents
2015/12/03
   EP - Vote in committee
2015/11/09
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2015/09/22
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2014/12/17
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2014/11/11
   EP - GERINGER DE OEDENBERG Lidia Joanna (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in PETI

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0361/2015 - Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg - § 12 #

2016/01/21 Outcome: +: 378, -: 275, 0: 8
IT ES FR BE DE SE RO DK EL LU EE AT LT FI CY IE HU LV BG CZ PT HR MT PL SK SI NL GB
Total
62
47
66
20
84
18
30
13
19
6
6
16
7
12
6
7
17
6
17
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19
9
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45
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7
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60
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A8-0361/2015 - Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg - § 21/1 #

2016/01/21 Outcome: +: 527, -: 115, 0: 14
DE IT ES RO FR SE HU PT BG NL CZ EL BE SK FI AT LT IE HR SI LV EE DK CY LU MT PL GB
Total
81
62
48
30
65
18
17
18
17
24
19
19
20
13
12
16
7
7
9
7
6
6
13
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5
5
45
60
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186

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2
2
3

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169

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3

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A8-0361/2015 - Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg - § 21/2 #

2016/01/21 Outcome: +: 529, -: 112, 0: 8
DE IT ES PL FR RO PT SE HU BG CZ EL BE AT LT FI HR SI SK NL LU LV IE EE CY MT DK GB
Total
84
59
48
45
66
28
19
18
14
17
19
18
20
16
7
11
9
7
13
24
6
6
6
6
6
5
12
59
icon: PPE PPE
188
2

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2

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3
3

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166

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3

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2

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3

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60
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A8-0361/2015 - Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg - § 23/1 #

2016/01/21 Outcome: +: 532, -: 113, 0: 7
DE IT ES FR RO GB PT HU SE AT BG NL BE EL SK LT IE FI HR DK SI LU LV EE CY CZ MT PL
Total
82
61
48
66
30
59
19
16
18
15
17
23
19
19
13
7
7
11
9
13
7
6
6
6
6
19
5
44
icon: PPE PPE
186
2
3

Finland PPE

2

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1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

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1
icon: S&D S&D
165
3

Netherlands S&D

3

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Finland S&D

1

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For (1)

1

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1

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1

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1

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3

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icon: ALDE ALDE
61
2

Romania ALDE

3

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1

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1
2

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3

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icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
43

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2

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2

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3

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2

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2

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2

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1

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44

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2

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1
3

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1

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3

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40

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1

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2

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1

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1
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15

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2

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icon: ENF ENF
32

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1

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4

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icon: ECR ECR
65

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2

A8-0361/2015 - Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg - § 23/2 #

2016/01/21 Outcome: -: 326, +: 315, 0: 12
GB IT FR DE AT PT ES CY LT NL EL IE LU DK MT LV FI HR SI EE BE HU SK SE CZ BG RO PL
Total
60
62
66
83
16
18
48
6
7
23
17
7
6
13
5
6
12
9
7
6
20
15
13
16
19
17
30
45
icon: S&D S&D
168

Cyprus S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

3

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1

Croatia S&D

For (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1
4

Sweden S&D

Abstain (1)

4

Czechia S&D

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
42

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

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2

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1

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1

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1

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1

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Abstain (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Hungary Verts/ALE

2

Sweden Verts/ALE

2
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
42

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Italy GUE/NGL

2
3

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Ireland GUE/NGL

2

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
40

France EFDD

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Czechia EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1
icon: ENF ENF
33

United Kingdom ENF

For (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Against (1)

1

Romania ENF

1

Poland ENF

For (1)

1
icon: NI NI
13

United Kingdom NI

Against (1)

1

France NI

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

3

Germany NI

2

Hungary NI

1

Poland NI

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
61

United Kingdom ALDE

Against (1)

1

Germany ALDE

For (1)

2

Austria ALDE

Against (1)

1

Portugal ALDE

Against (1)

2

Lithuania ALDE

Against (1)

2

Ireland ALDE

Abstain (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

Against (1)

1

Denmark ALDE

3

Latvia ALDE

1

Croatia ALDE

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Estonia ALDE

3

Romania ALDE

3
icon: ECR ECR
65

Italy ECR

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Finland ECR

2

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

Czechia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2

Romania ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: PPE PPE
188

Cyprus PPE

2

Lithuania PPE

2

Ireland PPE

3

Luxembourg PPE

For (1)

3

Denmark PPE

Against (1)

1

Finland PPE

2

Estonia PPE

Against (1)

1

Belgium PPE

4

A8-0361/2015 - Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg - § 24/1 #

2016/01/21 Outcome: +: 579, -: 56, 0: 16
DE FR IT ES PL RO NL GB PT AT BG HU SE BE EL SK FI LT IE HR SI LU LV EE DK CY MT CZ
Total
83
65
61
47
44
29
24
60
19
16
17
17
18
19
17
13
12
7
7
9
7
6
6
6
13
6
5
17
icon: PPE PPE
185

Finland PPE

2
2
3

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
166

Netherlands S&D

3
4

Belgium S&D

3

Greece S&D

2

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Croatia S&D

For (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2

Malta S&D

2

Czechia S&D

3
icon: ALDE ALDE
61
2

Romania ALDE

3