These are the key elements of the results of the round of negotiations between Parliament and Commission.
Principle of equal treatment for Parliament and the Council of Ministers
The agreement includes a guarantee that the Commission shall apply the basic principle of an equal treatment for Parliament and the Council of Ministers, especially with regard to access to meetings and provision of contributions or other information, in particular on legislative and budgetary matters.
Legislative initiative requests
According to the agreement, the Commission undertakes to report on the concrete follow-up given to any legislative initiative requests further to the adoption of a legislative initiative report by Parliament, within three months of its adoption. The Commission shall come forward with a legislative proposal after one year at the latest or include the proposal in the next year's work programme. If the Commission does not submit a proposal, it shall give Parliament detailed explanations of the reasons why.
Detailed review of Better Law-Making Inter-institutional Agreement
The agreement also notes a commitment of Parliament and Commission to agree on key changes in the preparation of future negotiations with the Council of Ministers on adapting the Better Law-Making Agreement to the new provisions of the Lisbon Treaty and changing the way in which the current agreement is put into practice.
The agreed changes state, inter alia, that in areas where Parliament is usually involved in the legislative process, soft law shall be used where appropriate and on a duly justified basis after consultation of Parliament.
Furthermore, the Commission shall make available to Parliament summary information about all infringement procedures, from the letter of formal notice, including, if requested by Parliament, on a case-by-case basis and in compliance with confidentiality rules, on the issues concerned by the infringement procedure.
Improving the accountability of the executive
Another key question in the negotiations for Parliament was improving the accountability of the executive. A Question Hour with Commissioners, including the Vice-President for External Relations/High-Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and following the model of the existing Question Hour with the Commission President, shall be introduced with the aim of reforming the existing Question Time.
Moreover, if Parliament asks the Commission President to withdraw confidence in an individual Member of the Commission, he will seriously consider whether he should request that Member to resign. The President shall either require the resignation of that Member or explain his refusal to do so before Parliament in the following part-session.
Full involvement of Parliament in international negotiations
The agreement foresees that the Commission is committed to a reinforced association with Parliament through immediate and full information of Parliament, at every stage of negotiations, on international agreements and in particular those on trade matters and other negotiations involving the consent procedure.
At international conferences, the Commission shall, in view of Parliament's extended powers under the Lisbon Treaty and to guarantee an efficient flow of information, at Parliament's request, act as facilitator in order to enable the chair of the EP delegation to be granted observer status in relevant meetings and, to this end, guarantee access to EU facilities for Parliament's delegations.
Improved arrangements for programming
Finally, Parliament's request for improved programming has also been met, as it has been agreed that the College shall meet on an annual basis with the Conference of Presidents and the Conference of Committee Chairs prior to adopting the annual Work Programme, including forthcoming proposals for simplification, major soft law initiatives and withdrawals, in order to prepare for debate and seek a common understanding between the Commission and Parliament.