The President is elected for a renewable term of two and a half years, i.e. half the lifetime of a Parliament. The President represents the European Parliament vis-à-vis the outside world and in its relations with the other EU institutions.
Assisted by 14 Vice-Presidents, the President oversees all the work of the Parliament and its constituent bodies (Bureau and Conference of Presidents), as well as the debates in plenary. Twelve plenary part-sessions are held each year in Strasbourg and six more in Brussels.
The President ensures that Parliament’s Rules of Procedure are adhered to and, through his arbitration, guarantees that all the activities of the institution and its constituent bodies run smoothly.
The President is the representative of Parliament in legal affairs and in all external relations. S/he delivers an opinion on all major international issues and makes recommendations designed to strengthen the European Union.
At the beginning of every European Council meeting (summit) the President of the European Parliament sets out Parliament’s point of view and its concerns as regards the items on the agenda and other subjects.
After the European Union’s budget has been adopted by Parliament, the President signs it, rendering it operational.
The EP President and the President of the Council both sign all legislative acts adopted under ordinary legislative procedure.
The candidate who obtains an absolute majority of the votes cast in a secret ballot is elected President. If an absolute majority cannot be obtained after three ballots, the President is elected on the fourth round by a simple majority.
The President’s term of office, which may be renewed, is two and a half years – half a parliamentary term.
The President directs Parliament’s activities, chairs plenary sittings and declares the budget finally adopted. The President represents Parliament in the outside world and in its relations with the other EU institutions.