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Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
7th parliamentary term - December 2009
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TITLE I : MEMBERS, PARLIAMENT BODIES AND POLITICAL GROUPS
CHAPTER 1 : MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Rule 3 : Verification of credentials

1.   Following elections to the European Parliament, the President shall invite the competent authorities of the Member States to notify Parliament without delay of the names of the elected Members so that all Members may take their seats in Parliament with effect from the opening of the first sitting following the elections.

At the same time, the President shall draw the attention of those authorities to the relevant provisions of the Act of 20 September 1976 and invite them to take the necessary measures to avoid any incompatibility with the office of Member of the European Parliament.

2.   Members whose election has been notified to Parliament shall declare in writing, before taking their seat in Parliament, that they do not hold any office incompatible with that of Member of the European Parliament within the meaning of Article 7(1) or (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976. Following general elections, the declaration shall be made, where possible, no later than six days prior to Parliament's constitutive sitting. Until such time as Members' credentials have been verified or a ruling has been given on any dispute, and provided that they have previously signed the above-mentioned written declaration, they shall take their seat in Parliament and on its bodies and shall enjoy all the rights attaching thereto.

Where it is established from facts verifiable from sources available to the public that a Member holds an office incompatible with that of Member of the European Parliament, within the meaning of Article 7(1) and (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976, Parliament, on the basis of the information provided by its President, shall establish that there is a vacancy.

3.   On the basis of a report by the committee responsible for the verification of credentials, Parliament shall verify credentials without delay and rule on the validity of the mandate of each of its newly elected Members and also on any dispute referred to it pursuant to the provisions of the Act of 20 September 1976, except those based on national electoral laws.

4.   The committee's report shall be based on the official notification by each Member State of the full results of the election specifying the names of the candidates elected and those of any substitutes together with their ranking in accordance with the results of the vote.

The validity of the mandate of a Member may not be confirmed unless the written declarations required under this Rule and Annex I to these Rules have been made.

On the basis of a report by the committee, Parliament may at any time rule on any dispute as to the validity of the mandate of any of its Members.

5.   Where the appointment of a Member is due to the withdrawal of candidates from the same list, the committee shall ensure that the withdrawals in question have taken place in accordance with the spirit and the letter of the Act of 20 September 1976 and Rule 4(3).

6.   The committee shall ensure that any information which may affect the performance of the duties of a Member of the European Parliament or the ranking of the substitutes is forwarded to Parliament without delay by the authorities of the Member States or of the Union, with an indication of the date of effect in the case of an appointment.

Should the competent authorities of the Member States initiate a procedure which might lead to the disqualification of a Member from holding office, the President shall ask them to keep him regularly informed of the stage reached in the procedure and shall refer the matter to the committee responsible. On a proposal from that committee, Parliament may adopt a position on the matter.

Last updated: 30 November 2009Legal notice