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


Rule 149 : Allocation of speaking time and list of speakers

1.   The Conference of Presidents may propose to Parliament that speaking time be allocated for a particular debate. Parliament shall decide on this proposal without debate.

2.   Members may not speak unless called upon to do so by the President. Members shall speak from their places and shall address the President. If speakers depart from the subject, the President shall call them to order.

3.   The President may draw up, for the first part of a particular debate, a list of speakers that includes one or more rounds of speakers from each political group wishing to speak, in the order of their size, and one non-attached Member.

4.   Speaking time for this part of a debate shall be allocated in accordance with the following criteria:

(a)   a first fraction of speaking time shall be divided equally among all the political groups;

(b)   a further fraction shall be divided among the political groups in proportion to the total number of their members;

(c)   the non-attached Members shall be allocated an overall speaking time based on the fractions allocated to each political group under points (a) and (b).

5.   Where a total speaking time is allocated for several items on the agenda, the political groups shall inform the President of the fraction of their speaking time to be used for each individual item. The President shall ensure that these speaking times are respected.

6.   The remaining part of the time for a debate shall not be specifically allocated in advance. Instead, the President shall call on Members to speak, as a general rule for no more than one minute. The President shall ensure – as far as possible – that speakers holding different political views and from different Member States are heard in turn.

7.   On request priority may be given to the Chair or rapporteur of the committee responsible and to the Chairs of political groups who wish to speak on their groups' behalf, or to speakers deputising for them.

8.   The President may give the floor to Members who indicate, by raising a blue card, their wish to put to another Member, during that Member's speech, a question of no longer than half a minute's duration, if the speaker agrees and if the President is satisfied that this will not lead to a disruption of the debate.

9.   No Member may speak for more than one minute on any of the following: the minutes of the sitting, procedural motions, or amendments to the final draft agenda or the agenda.

10.   Without prejudice to his other disciplinary powers, the President may cause to be deleted from the verbatim reports of debates of sittings the speeches of Members who have not been called upon to speak or who continue to speak beyond the time allotted to them.

11.   In the debate on a report the Commission and the Council shall as a rule be heard immediately after its presentation by the rapporteur. The Commission, the Council and the rapporteur may be heard again, in particular in order to respond to the statements made by Members.

12.   Members who have not spoken in a debate may, at most once per part-session, hand in a written statement of not more than 200 words, which shall be appended to the verbatim report of the debate.

13.   Without prejudice to Article 230 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the President shall seek to reach an understanding with the Commission,the Council and the President of the European Council on the appropriate allocation of speaking time for them.

Last updated: 30 November 2009Legal notice