Procedure : 2012/2080(REG)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0336/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0336/2012

Debates :

Votes :

PV 20/11/2012 - 6.12
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0423

REPORT     
PDF 168kWORD 184k
17 October 2012
PE 487.903v02-00 A7-0336/2012

on amendment of Rule 181 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure concerning verbatim reports of proceedings and Rule 182 concerning the audiovisual record of proceedings

(2012/2080(REG))

Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Rapporteur: Stanimir Ilchev

AMENDMENTS
PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on amendment of Rule 181 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure concerning verbatim reports of proceedings and Rule 182 concerning the audiovisual record of proceedings (2012/2080(REG))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the letter from its President of 13 January 2012,

–   having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2011 on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012 as modified by the Council – all sections – and letters of amendment Nos 1/2012 and 2/2012 to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012(1),

–   having regard to Rules 211 and 212 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0336/2012),

A. whereas savings from the budget in the area of translation and interpretation must not jeopardise the principle of multilingualism, but are possible with the help of innovation and new working methods(2),

1.  Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;

2.  Points out that the amendments will enter into force on the first day of the next part-session;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission, for information.

Amendment  1

Parliament's Rules of Procedure

Rule 181 – paragraph 1

Present text

Amendment

1. A verbatim report of the proceedings of each sitting shall be drawn up in all the official languages.

1. A verbatim report of the proceedings of each sitting shall be drawn up as a multilingual document in which all oral contributions appear in their original language.

Amendment  2

Parliament's Rules of Procedure

Rule 181 – paragraph 2

Present text

Amendment

2. Speakers shall return corrections to typescripts of their speeches to the Secretariat within one week.

2. Speakers may make corrections to typescripts of their oral contributions within five working days. Corrections shall be sent within that deadline to the Secretariat.

Amendment  3

Parliament's Rules of Procedure

Rule 181 – paragraph 3

Present text

Amendment

3. The verbatim report shall be published as an annex to the Official Journal of the European Union.

3. The multilingual verbatim report shall be published as an annex to the Official Journal of the European Union and preserved in the records of Parliament.

Amendment  4

Parliament's Rules of Procedure

Rule 181 – paragraph 4

Present text

Amendment

4. Members may ask for extracts from the verbatim report to be translated at short notice.

4. A translation into any official language of an extract from the verbatim report shall be made on request from a Member. If necessary, the translation shall be provided at short notice.

Amendment  5

Parliament's Rules of Procedure

Rule 182 – paragraph -1 (new)

Present text

Amendment

 

The proceedings of Parliament in the languages in which they are conducted, as well as the multilingual soundtrack from all active interpretation booths, shall be broadcast in real time on its website.

Amendment  6

Parliament's Rules of Procedure

Rule 182 – paragraph 1

Present text

Amendment

Immediately after the sitting, an audiovisual record of the proceedings, including the soundtrack from all interpretation booths, shall be produced and made available on the internet.

Immediately after the sitting, an indexed audiovisual record of the proceedings in the languages in which they were conducted, as well as the multilingual soundtrack from all active interpretation booths, shall be produced and made available on Parliament's website during the current and the next parliamentary term, after which it shall be preserved in the records of Parliament. That audiovisual record shall be linked to the multilingual verbatim reports of the proceedings as soon as they are available.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0461.

(2)

See resolution of 26 October 2011 mentioned above, paragraph 77.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

By letter of 13 January 2012, the President informed the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of a decision taken by the Bureau to limit the translation of verbatim reports of proceedings (Rule 181) as part of the commitments made by Parliament in the budget 2012. The verbatim report would continue to exist as a multilingual document where speeches would be transcribed in their original language and translated into English only. Individual Members would still be able to request translation in different languages of parts they were interested in.

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs was asked to look into the matter and draft a report on a possible amendment of Rule 181

1.        Historical background

Amendments to the Rule on translation of verbatim report of proceeding (compte rendu in extenso - CRE) were already adopted by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs in 2007(1) in the Richard Corbett report.

Following the 2004 enlargement, the Parliament was given a derogation to continue translating CRE into the 11 "'old" languages due to an insufficient capacity for translation into the new languages. This derogation expired in September 2007 and it was then necessary to put the language regime into compliance with Rule 146 which stipulates that "all documents of Parliament shall be drawn up in the official languages".

The Corbett Report proposed to publish CRE only in the original language while at the same time making available on the internet an audio-visual record of proceedings with interpretation into all the official languages. This proposal echoed the decision taken by the Bureau in January 2006.

However, in its resolution of 24 October 2007(2), the Plenary decided by an overwhelming majority (568 in favour, 94 against, 17 abstentions) to maintain the obligation to translate CRE into all official languages. The Plenary agreed to make available immediately on the internet audio-visual recordings of the proceedings with interpretation into all official languages (currently Rule 182 of the Rules of procedure).

2.  The orientation chosen by the Bureau in 2011

Against the backdrop of the current economic and financial crisis, Parliament wanted to add to the efforts undertaken by Member States and committed itself to a package of cost-saving measures for the 2012 budget.

The Bureau and the Committee on Budget reached an agreement in the conciliation meeting of 22 September 2011. The package included on the one hand a reduction in the administrative costs of Parliament (to achieve a total savings of over EUR 6 million) and on the other hand, organisational measures allowing structural economies in the areas of interpretation (EUR 10 million) and translation (EUR 11 million, of which 8.6 million for CRE). The decision to limit translation of CRE was part of this overall agreement.

The Bureau endorsed the agreement on 26 September 2011 and decided in particular that "...the automatic translation of the verbatim reports into all languages could be stopped.... and remain available in one language....".

In its resolution of 26 October 2011(3), Parliament confirmed the Bureau decision and adopted the following position "... considers that savings in interpretation and translation do not put at risk the principle of multilingualism, but are possible with the help of innovation, reorganisation of structures and new working methods;...considers that the agreement made in the conciliation on 22 September 2011 and in the context of the estimates (its resolution of 6 April 2011 adopted in plenary by 479 votes in favour) should not be put in question and none of the elements of that agreement should be reopened if no new circumstances have occurred since then..."

3.        The current situation

According to the current Rule 181 translation of verbatim reports into all official languages is to be provided. This translation usually takes 4 months. At the same time and in accordance with Rule 182, an audiovisual record of the proceedings with interpretation into all official languages shall be made available to the public on the internet immediately after the sitting. Moreover, the proceedings are streamed in real time. Members may also ask for extracts from the verbatim report to be translated at short notice.

After the adoption of the package of saving measures for the budget 2012, the Parliament put into effect its budgetary commitments and started with translation of CRE into English only from July 2011.

This situation is in contradiction with the current Rule 181 and Rule 146 and could put into question the principle of multilingualism.

4. Position of the rapporteur

Rule 181 (1)

Within the context of the current economic climate and having regard to the commitments made by Parliament in the 2012 budgetary process, it seems appropriate to limit the current dual system (translation and interpretation) which is both costly and rather redundant. The current technology provides to all citizens an audiovisual record of the proceedings with interpretation into all official languages not only immediately after the sitting but in real time as well.

The rapporteur considers that providing translation of verbatim reports into one language only would create a hierarchy among the official languages of the European Union and thus put into question the principle of multilingualism. It is therefore proposed to draw up CRE solely as a multilingual document in which all contributions appear only in their original language without any translation being automatically provided. Drawing up verbatim reports solely in their original language will result in greater budget and resource savings and at the same time uphold the principle of multilingualism.

Rule 181(4)

Members will still have the possibility to ask for a translation into any language of an extract from CRE that they are interested in. It is proposed to amend the Rule 181 paragraph 4 in order to distinguish between demands provided within standard time frame (30 working days) and at short notice (10 working days). Demands for translation at short notice should only be made if necessary.

Even though an official translation of CRE will no longer be provided, a substantial increase of demands for translation of extracts from CRE should not be expected. Statistics show that since July 2011 when Parliament started translating CRE into English only, no Member has up to now asked for translation of extracts from CRE.

Rule 182

The rapporteur considers it necessary to modify the Rule 182 as a consequence of modification to the Rule 181. It is proposed to add a new paragraph that further underlines the use of modern technologies by Parliament which in particular gives the opportunity to all citizens to follow plenary proceedings with interpretation to all official languages in real time and ex-post through video on demand. This innovation was introduced in April 2006.

The Parliament has also developed an in-house technology that enables CRE's to be linked to multilingual web streaming and gives the possibility to find all plenary interventions by speaker (indexed records). This new technology was introduced in September 2008 and allows de facto public accessibility of CRE in all languages. CRE with linkage to the multilingual web streaming is made available to the public for 2 legislatures already.

After the 10 years period, it is proposed to keep audiovisual records with interpretations linked to CRE in the records of Parliament.

(1)

Report adopted on 5 October 2007, A6-0354/2007

(2)

P6_TA(2007)0460

(3)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0461; paragr. 77 and 78


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

9.10.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Alfredo Antoniozzi, Andrew Henry William Brons, Carlo Casini, Andrew Duff, Roberto Gualtieri, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Gerald Häfner, Stanimir Ilchev, Constance Le Grip, David Martin, Morten Messerschmidt, Paulo Rangel, Algirdas Saudargas, Indrek Tarand, Rafał Trzaskowski, Manfred Weber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zuzana Brzobohatá, Marietta Giannakou, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Vital Moreira, Helmut Scholz, György Schöpflin

Last updated: 8 November 2012Legal notice