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European Law Monitor NewsParliamentary reform proposals adopted

The Conference of Presidents has adopted a number of recommendations made by the working party on parliamentary reform. The working party, which is chaired by Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, submitted a first report regarding the work of the plenary session.

In a statement made after the meeting of the political group leaders, EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering said: "I congratulate the working party and its chair Dagmar Roth-Behrendt on its excellent and rapid work. In good time and within its mandate, the working party has submitted proposals which have been approved by the group leaders today.   The work of Parliament's plenary sessions will therefore be better structured and debates will become more lively and interesting. That was an important aim of the Parliamentary reform. With this the first stage of the reform process has been successfully completed."
Dagmar Roth-Behrendt expressed her satisfaction with the decision taken by the Conference of Presidents. "Today's decision clearly demonstrates the commitment of the entire Parliament to this reform project designed to make our institution fit for purpose, which has become even more important after the agreement on the Reform Treaty. We will now see to it that the measures approved will be implemented as soon as possible in order to achieve visible results, not only in the eyes of our fellow Parliamentarians, but also of the wider public. For the working party this is further encouragement to continue with the other issues covered by its mandate."
The working party for parliamentary reform was proposed by EP President Hans Gert-Pöttering and set up by the Conference of Presidents on 15 February 2007 with the aim of making Parliament's work more efficient and more attractive to the public. This working party will continue its work in the weeks ahead with two other reports concerning committees and inter-institutional relations, external relations and proposals concerning Parliament's organisation after 2009
The first set of measures adopted by the Conference of Presidents covers five areas: agenda-setting and the structure of plenary activities;   priority-setting and the format of specific annual debates; the organisation of debates, the organisation of votes and the treatment of amendments; parallel meetings and the seating plan in the Chamber. Proposals on the calendar of parliamentary activities were adopted before the summer break in order to establish the parliamentary calendar for 2008 on time.
Those proposals requiring changes to the Parliament's Rules of Procedure were referred to the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, such as the drawing up of guidelines for the procedure for written questions to the Commission and Council or the introduction and conclusion of debates in plenary on legislative texts by the rapporteur.
The changes to the business of the Parliament's part-sessions adopted by the political group leaders will be operational for the beginning of 2008.

Further information:

Document adopted by the Conference of Presidents : pdf file