Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
7th parliamentary term - December 2009


Rule 20 : Duties of the President

1.   The President shall direct all the activities of Parliament and its bodies under the conditions laid down in these Rules and shall enjoy all the powers necessary to preside over the proceedings of Parliament and to ensure that they are properly conducted.

This provision can be interpreted as meaning that the powers conferred by it include the power to put an end to the excessive use of motions such as points of order, procedural motions, explanations of vote and requests for separate, split or roll-call votes where the President is convinced that these are manifestly intended to cause and will result in, a prolonged and serious obstruction of the procedures of the House or the rights of other Members.

The powers conferred by this provision include the power to put texts to the vote in an order other than that set out in the document to be voted on. By analogy with Rule 161(7), the President may seek the agreement of Parliament before doing so.

2.   The duties of the President shall be to open, suspend and close sittings; to rule on the admissibility of amendments, on questions to the Council and Commission, and on the conformity of reports with these Rules; to ensure observance of these Rules, maintain order, call upon speakers, close debates, put matters to the vote and announce the results of votes; and to refer to committees any communications that concern them.

3.   The President may speak in a debate only to sum up or to call speakers to order. Should he wish to take part in a debate, he shall vacate the chair and shall not reoccupy it until the debate is over.

4.   Parliament shall be represented in international relations, on ceremonial occasions and in administrative, legal and financial matters by the President, who may delegate these powers.

Last updated: 30 November 2009Legal notice