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


Rule 90 : International agreements

1.   When it is intended to open negotiations on the conclusion, renewal or amendment of an international agreement, including agreements in specific areas such as monetary affairs or trade, the committee responsible may decide to draw up a report or otherwise monitor the procedure and inform the Conference of Committee Chairs of that decision. Where appropriate, other committees may be asked for an opinion pursuant to Rule 49(1). Rules 188(2), 50 or 51 shall apply where appropriate.

The Chairs and rapporteurs of the committee responsible and of any associated committees shall jointly take appropriate action to ensure that the Commission provides Parliament with full information about the recommendations for a negotiating mandate, if necessary on a confidential basis, and with the information referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4.

2.   Parliament may, on a proposal from the committee responsible, a political group or at least 40 Members, ask the Council not to authorise the opening of negotiations until Parliament has stated its position on the proposed negotiating mandate on the basis of a report from the committee responsible.

3.   The committee responsible shall ascertain from the Commission, at the time when the negotiations are scheduled to start, the chosen legal basis for concluding the international agreements referred to in paragraph 1. The committee responsible shall verify the chosen legal basis in accordance with Rule 37. Where the Commission fails to designate a legal basis, or where there is doubt about its appropriateness, Rule 37 shall apply.

4.   Throughout the negotiations the Commission and the Council shall inform the committee responsible regularly and thoroughly of their progress, if necessary on a confidential basis.

5.   At any stage of the negotiations Parliament may, on the basis of a report from the committee responsible, and after considering any relevant proposal tabled pursuant to Rule 121, adopt recommendations and require them to be taken into account before the conclusion of the international agreement under consideration.

6.   When the negotiations are completed, but before any agreement is signed, the draft agreement shall be submitted to Parliament for its opinion or consent. In the case of the consent procedure Rule 81 shall apply.

7.   Before the vote on the consent is taken, the committee responsible, a political group or at least one-tenth of the Members may propose that Parliament seek an opinion from the Court of Justice of the European Union on the compatibility of an international agreement with the Treaties. If Parliament approves such a proposal, the vote on the consent shall be adjourned until the Court has delivered its opinion.

8.   Parliament shall give its opinion on, or its consent to, the conclusion, renewal or amendment of an international agreement or a financial protocol concluded by the European Union in a single vote by a majority of the votes cast. No amendments to the text of the agreement or protocol shall be admissible.

9.   If the opinion adopted by Parliament is unfavourable, the President shall ask the Council not to conclude the agreement in question.

10.   If Parliament withholds its consent to an international agreement, the President shall inform the Council that the agreement in question cannot be concluded.

Last updated: 30 November 2009Legal notice