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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 4 : Term of office of Members

1.   A Member's term of office shall begin and end as laid down in the Act of 20 September 1976. It shall also end on death or resignation.

2.   Every Member shall remain in office until the opening of the first sitting of Parliament following the elections.

3.   Members who resign shall notify the President of their resignation and of the date on which that resignation is to take effect, which may not be more than three months after notification. This notification shall take the form of an official record drawn up in the presence of the Secretary-General or his representative, signed by the latter and by the Member concerned and immediately submitted to the committee responsible, which shall enter it on the agenda of its first meeting following receipt of the document.

If the committee responsible considers that the resignation is not in accordance with the spirit or the letter of the Act of 20 September 1976 it shall inform Parliament to this effect so that Parliament can decide whether or not to establish the vacancy.

Otherwise, the vacancy shall be established with effect from the date indicated by the resigning Member in the official record. There shall be no vote in Parliament on the subject.

A simplified procedure has been introduced for certain exceptional circumstances, in particular where one or more part-sessions are held between the effective date of the resignation and the first meeting of the committee responsible and where, as the vacancy has not been established, the political group to which the resigning Member belongs is not able to obtain a replacement Member during those part-sessions. Under this procedure, the rapporteur of the committee responsible entrusted with these cases has the power to examine immediately any resignation duly notified and, where any delay in considering the notification would be prejudicial, to refer the matter to the committee chair, requesting,pursuant to paragraph 3:

-   either that the President be informed on behalf of the committee that the vacancy may be established; or

-   that an extraordinary meeting of the committee be convened to examine any specific difficulties noted by the rapporteur.

4.   Where the competent authority of a Member State notifies the President of the end of the term of office of a Member of the European Parliament pursuant to the provisions of the law of that Member State, as a result either of incompatibilities within the meaning of Article 7(3) of the Act of 20 September 1976 or withdrawal of the mandate pursuant to Article 13(3) of that Act, the President shall inform Parliament that the mandate ended on the date communicated by the Member State and shall invite the Member State to fill the vacant seat without delay.

Where the competent authorities of the Member States or of the Union or the Member concerned notify the President of an appointment or election to an office incompatible with the office of Member of the European Parliament within the meaning of Article 7(1) or (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976, the President shall inform Parliament, which shall establish that there is a vacancy.

5.   The authorities of the Member States or of the Union shall inform the President of any assignment they intend to confer on a Member. The President shall refer to the committee responsible the question of the compatibility of the proposed assignment with the letter and the spirit of the Act of 20 September 1976 and shall inform Parliament, the Member and the authorities concerned of the conclusions reached by that committee.

6.   The following shall be considered as the date of the end of the term of office and the effective date of a vacancy:

-   in the case of resignation: the date on which the vacancy is established by Parliament, in accordance with the notification of resignation;

-   in the case of appointment or election to an office incompatible with the office of Member of the European Parliament within the meaning of Article 7(1) or (2) of the Act of 20 September 1976: the date notified by the competent authorities of the Member States or of the Union or by the Member concerned.

7.   When Parliament has established that a vacancy exists, it shall inform the Member State concerned and invite it to fill the seat without delay.

8.   Any dispute concerning the validity of the appointment of a Member whose credentials have already been verified shall be referred to the committee responsible, which shall report to Parliament without delay and no later than the beginning of the next part-session.

9.   Parliament shall reserve the right, where acceptance or termination of office appears to be based on material inaccuracy or vitiated consent, to declare the appointment under consideration to be invalid or refuse to establish the vacancy.

Last updated: 30 November 2009Legal notice