BETA


2020/2098(REG) Amendments to the Rules of Procedure in order to ensure the functioning of Parliament in extraordinary circumstances

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFCO BISCHOFF Gabriele (icon: S&D S&D) WIELAND Rainer (icon: EPP EPP), DURAND Pascal (icon: Renew Renew), DELBOS-CORFIELD Gwendoline (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), ANNEMANS Gerolf (icon: ID ID), BOURGEOIS Geert (icon: ECR ECR), SCHOLZ Helmut (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), CASTALDO Fabio Massimo (icon: NA NA)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 237-p1

Events

2020/12/17
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2020/12/17
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament decided, by 598 votes to 58, with 33 abstentions, to amend its Rules of Procedure to ensure the functioning of Parliament in extraordinary circumstances.

The sanitary crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the need to amend Parliament's Rules of Procedure to ensure the institution's functioning in different types of exceptional circumstances.

Members highlighted the importance of the temporary measures adopted during the current health crisis, considering that there were no alternatives to ensure the continuity of the Parliament's activities and enable it to exercise its legislative, budgetary and political control functions in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Treaties. These measures were fully justified and ensured the validity of all votes taken during their period of application.

Parliament recalled the importance of ensuring, to the best of its ability, reasonable accommodation for Members with disabilities and their staff when Parliament operates in extraordinary circumstances.

In the light of these considerations, Parliament decided to amend its Rules of Procedure by introducing a new Title XIIIa entitled ‘Extraordinary circumstances’.

Extraordinary measures (Rule 237a)

This Rule should apply to situations where the European Parliament, owing to exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances beyond its control, is prevented from carrying out its duties and exercising its prerogatives under the Treaties, and where a temporary derogation from the European Parliament's usual procedures is necessary in order to adopt extraordinary measures enabling it to continue to carry out those duties and to exercise those prerogatives.

Such exceptional circumstances would exist when the President concludes, on the basis of reliable evidence, that for reasons of security or safety or due to the unavailability of technical means, it is or will be impossible or dangerous for Parliament to convene in accordance with its usual procedures.

The Rule lists the measures that the President may decide to apply, with the approval of the Conference of Presidents.

This Rule should be applied only as a last resort and only those measures which are strictly necessary to deal with the extraordinary circumstances under consideration should be applied.

Disruption of the political balance in Parliament (Rule 237b)

The President could, with the approval of the Conference of Presidents, adopt the necessary measures to facilitate the participation of the Members or a political group concerned if he concludes, on the basis of reliable evidence, that the political balance of Parliament is seriously impaired because a significant number of Members or a political group cannot take part in Parliament’s proceedings in accordance with its usual procedures, for reasons of security or safety, or as a result of the unavailability of technical means.

The sole aim of such measures should be to allow the remote participation of Members concerned by the application of selected technical means.

Remote participation regime (Rule 237c)

Where the President decides to apply the remote participation regime, Parliament could conduct its proceedings remotely inter alia by permitting all Members to exercise certain of their parliamentary rights by electronic means. This new Rule sets out the guarantees that the remote participation regime should provide in this case.

The President's decision should also determine how rights and practices which cannot be exercised appropriately without the Members’ physical presence are to be adapted for the duration of the regime.

Regarding the rules on quorum and voting in the Chamber, Members participating remotely would be deemed to be physically present in the Chamber.

Members who have not spoken in a debate may, once per sitting, hand in a written statement, which should be appended to the verbatim report of the debate.

Holding of the plenary session in separate meeting rooms (Rule 237d)

This Rule sets out the rules applicable should the President decide to authorise the holding of a plenary session of Parliament in whole or in part in more than one meeting room, including, where appropriate, the hemicycle.

Entry into force and application

Parliament decided that these changes should enter into force on 1 January 2021, but that they would only apply from 18 January 2021, i.e. at the opening of the first ordinary part-session of 2021.

Documents
2020/12/17
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2020/10/16
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Constitutional Affairs Committee adopted a report by Gabriele BISCHOFF (S&D, DE) on amendments to the Rules of Procedure to ensure the functioning of Parliament in extraordinary circumstances.

Members stressed that the sanitary crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the need to amend Parliament's Rules of Procedure to ensure the institution's functioning in different types of exceptional circumstances.

The report welcomed the importance of the temporary measures adopted during the current health crisis, considering that there were no alternatives to ensure the continuity of the Parliament's activities and enable it to exercise its legislative, budgetary and political control functions in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Treaties. These measures were fully justified and ensured the validity of all votes taken during their period of application.

In the light of these considerations, Members proposed that Parliament should amend its Rules of Procedure by introducing a new Title XIIIa entitled ‘Extraordinary circumstances’.

The proposed amendments relate to the following points:

Extraordinary measures (Rule 237a)

This Rule would apply to situations where the European Parliament, owing to exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances beyond its control, is prevented from carrying out its duties and exercising its prerogatives under the Treaties, and where a temporary derogation from the European Parliament's usual procedures is necessary in order to adopt extraordinary measures enabling it to continue to carry out those duties and to exercise those prerogatives.

Such exceptional circumstances would exist when the President concludes, on the basis of reliable evidence, that for reasons of security or safety or due to the unavailability of technical means, it is or will be impossible or dangerous for Parliament to convene in accordance with its usual procedures.

Disruption of the political balance in Parliament (Rule 237b)

The President could, with the approval of the Conference of Presidents, adopt the necessary measures to facilitate the participation of the Members or a political group concerned if he concludes, on the basis of reliable evidence, that the political balance of Parliament is seriously impaired because a significant number of Members or a political group cannot take part in Parliament’s proceedings in accordance with its usual procedures, for reasons of security or safety, or as a result of the unavailability of technical means.

The sole aim of such measures should be to allow the remote participation of Members concerned by the application of selected technical means.

Remote participation regime (Rule 237c)

Where the President decides to apply the remote participation regime, Parliament could conduct its proceedings remotely inter alia by permitting all Members to exercise certain of their parliamentary rights by electronic means. This new Rule sets out the guarantees that the remote participation regime should provide in this case.

The President's decision would also determine how rights and practices which cannot be exercised appropriately without the Members’ physical presence are to be adapted for the duration of the regime.

Regarding the rules on quorum and voting in the Chamber, Members participating remotely would be deemed to be physically present in the Chamber.

Holding of the plenary session in separate meeting rooms (Rule 237d)

This Rule sets out the rules applicable should the President decide to authorise the holding of a plenary session of Parliament in whole or in part in more than one meeting room, including, where appropriate, the hemicycle.

Documents
2020/10/12
   EP - Vote in committee
2020/09/25
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2020/07/10
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2020/07/10
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2020/06/08
   EP - BISCHOFF Gabriele (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in AFCO

Documents

Votes

A9-0194/2020 - Gabriele Bischoff - Am 1, 3, 5 #

2020/12/17 Outcome: +: 609, 0: 66, -: 21
FR IT DE ES RO PL PT AT BE NL EL CZ BG SE FI DK IE SK LT HR HU SI CY MT LU LV EE
Total
79
74
94
59
32
51
21
19
21
29
20
21
17
20
14
14
13
14
11
12
20
8
6
6
6
8
7
icon: PPE PPE
184

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1
2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Latvia PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
143

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

2

Estonia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

For (1)

1

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Sweden Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Ireland Renew

2

Slovakia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Estonia Renew

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1
icon: ID ID
75
3

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Czechia ID

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Finland ID

2

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Estonia ID

Abstain (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
38

Belgium GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: NI NI
24

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

Against (1)

1

Slovakia NI

2

Croatia NI

2

Hungary NI

1
icon: ECR ECR
62

Germany ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Romania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

Abstain (1)

4

Greece ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

2
3

Slovakia ECR

2

Lithuania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2

A9-0194/2020 - Gabriele Bischoff - Am 6 #

2020/12/17 Outcome: -: 466, +: 159, 0: 71
FR IE CY FI EL BE EE LU LV DK HU SI LT MT CZ AT HR SK PT SE BG NL PL ES DE RO IT
Total
79
13
6
14
20
21
7
6
8
14
20
8
11
6
21
19
12
14
21
20
17
29
51
59
94
32
74
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Spain Verts/ALE

3
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
38

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Belgium GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

1
icon: NI NI
24

Hungary NI

1

Croatia NI

2

Slovakia NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Netherlands NI

1

Germany NI

2
icon: ECR ECR
62

Greece ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2

Lithuania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Slovakia ECR

2
3

Bulgaria ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

4

Germany ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Romania ECR

Abstain (1)

1
icon: ID ID
75

Finland ID

2

Estonia ID

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Czechia ID

For (1)

Against (1)

2
3

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1
icon: Renew Renew
97

Ireland Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Estonia Renew

For (1)

Against (2)

3

Luxembourg Renew

2

Latvia Renew

Against (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Lithuania Renew

2

Austria Renew

Against (1)

1

Croatia Renew

Against (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Sweden Renew

2

Bulgaria Renew

3

Italy Renew

Against (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
143

Cyprus S&D

2

Finland S&D

2

Greece S&D

2

Belgium S&D

3

Estonia S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

Against (1)

1

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

Against (2)

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

3
icon: PPE PPE
184

Cyprus PPE

2

Belgium PPE

Abstain (1)

4

Estonia PPE

Against (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

2

Latvia PPE

2

Denmark PPE

Against (1)

1

Slovenia PPE

4

Malta PPE

2

A9-0194/2020 - Gabriele Bischoff - Am 2 #

2020/12/17 Outcome: +: 601, -: 73, 0: 22
FR DE IT ES RO PT AT NL BE SE FI DK IE BG EL CZ SK LT HU SI HR CY MT LU EE LV PL
Total
79
94
74
59
32
21
19
29
21
20
14
14
13
17
20
21
14
11
20
8
12
6
6
6
7
8
51
icon: PPE PPE
184

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1
2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
143

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

For (1)

1

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Sweden Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Ireland Renew

2

Slovakia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

2

Hungary Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ID ID
75
3

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Finland ID

2

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Czechia ID

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Estonia ID

Abstain (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
38

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Belgium GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: NI NI
24

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

Against (1)

1

Slovakia NI

2

Hungary NI

1

Croatia NI

2
icon: ECR ECR
62

Germany ECR

Against (1)

1

Romania ECR

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

4
3

Bulgaria ECR

2

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Slovakia ECR

2

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2

A9-0194/2020 - Gabriele Bischoff - Am 7 #

2020/12/17 Outcome: -: 502, +: 162, 0: 32
FR IE CY FI DK EE LU AT EL BE HU SI LV MT SE CZ LT HR PT SK BG NL DE RO ES PL IT
Total
79
13
6
14
14
7
6
19
20
21
20
8
8
6
20
21
11
12
21
14
17
29
94
32
59
51
74
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
38

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Belgium GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

1
icon: ID ID
75

Finland ID

2

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Estonia ID

Abstain (1)

1
3

Czechia ID

2

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
24

Greece NI

Against (1)

3

Hungary NI

1

Croatia NI

2

Slovakia NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Netherlands NI

1

Germany NI

2
icon: ECR ECR
62

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2
3

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

Slovakia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

4

Germany ECR

Against (1)

1

Romania ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: Renew Renew
97

Ireland Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Estonia Renew

For (1)

Against (2)

3

Luxembourg Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Latvia Renew

Against (1)

1

Sweden Renew

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Lithuania Renew

2

Croatia Renew

Against (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Bulgaria Renew

3

Italy Renew

Against (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
143

Cyprus S&D

2

Finland S&D

2

Estonia S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

Against (1)

1

Greece S&D

2

Belgium S&D

3

Slovenia S&D

Against (2)

2

Latvia S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

3
icon: PPE PPE
184

Cyprus PPE

2

Denmark PPE

Against (1)

1

Estonia PPE

Against (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

2

Belgium PPE

Abstain (1)

4

Slovenia PPE

4

Latvia PPE

2

Malta PPE

2

A9-0194/2020 - Gabriele Bischoff - Am 4 #

2020/12/17 Outcome: +: 660, 0: 18, -: 17
FR IT DE ES PL RO BE CZ PT SE NL AT BG EL SK FI IE DK LT HR LV HU SI CY MT LU EE
Total
79
74
93
59
51
32
21
21
21
20
29
19
17
20
14
14
13
14
11
12
8
20
8
6
6
6
7
icon: PPE PPE
184

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2
2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
143

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

For (1)

1

Sweden Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Ireland Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
72

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
62

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Romania ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

4

Bulgaria ECR

2

Greece ECR

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2
icon: ID ID
75

Czechia ID

2

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1
3

Finland ID

2

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Estonia ID

Abstain (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
38

Belgium GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: NI NI
24

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

Against (1)

1

Greece NI

Against (1)

3

Slovakia NI

2

Croatia NI

2

Hungary NI

1

A9-0194/2020 - Gabriele Bischoff - Am 8 #

2020/12/17 Outcome: +: 655, -: 38, 0: 3
FR IT DE ES PL RO BE PT NL CZ AT BG EL SE FI DK IE SK LT HR LV SI CY MT LU EE HU
Total
79
74
94
59
51
32
21
21
29
21
19
17
20
20
14
14
13
14
11
12
8
8
6
6
6
7
20
icon: PPE PPE
184

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2
2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
143

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

Against (1)

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

For (1)

1

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Sweden Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Ireland Renew

2

Slovakia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3

Hungary Renew

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
62

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Romania ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

4

Bulgaria ECR

2

Greece ECR

1
3

Lithuania ECR

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2
icon: ID ID
75

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Czechia ID

For (1)

Against (1)

2
3

Finland ID