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 Full text 
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - Brussels Revised edition

Amendments to Parliament's Rules of Procedure (debate)

  György Schöpflin, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, there are two issues that I would like to touch on. First, the reform of the Rules of Procedure will give this Parliament a much stronger connection with the European Citizens’ Initiative – it has already been mentioned – so that whenever there is a successful initiative, Parliament will be in position to discuss it in plenary. Now this represents a major improvement in the process and will give initiatives much greater visibility. That, in turn, will enhance the relationship between citizens and the EU – something that is badly needed.

The other issue is evidently much more contested. How are political groups in this Parliament to be constituted? On paper, those who launch a group do so because they are linked by a political affinity; they have enough in common, politically, to act together. Hitherto, affinity has been taken on trust and mostly it has worked, but this the system can be gamed and it has been, by the EFDD, for example. Wholly divergent actors say they are linked and, thereby, they come to enjoy the rights and benefits of being a parliamentary group. Through that, they claim to represent the citizens, except as such divergent groups, they cannot and do not and that, of course, makes Parliament looks absurd – hence this reform, which is overdue.

Last updated: 17 May 2019Legal notice