– having regard to Rules 211 and 212 of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0148/2012),
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. Invites its President to take the necessary steps to ensure that a single contact point is set up in the European Parliament, which citizens, representative associations and civil society can contact on matters relating to European citizens' initiatives;
4. Invites the Commission to confirm in a letter addressed to the President of the European Parliament its intention to be represented, at any public hearings on European citizens' initiatives, in principle by the Commissioner responsible for the subject-matter, or, if he or she is unavailable, then either preferably by another Member of the Commission or by the Director-General responsible for the subject-matter;
5. Asks its Bureau and its Secretary-General to take the appropriate measures to ensure the greatest possible visibility of public hearings on European citizens' initiatives by providing appropriate facilities, including the use of the best available information and communications technology;
6. Takes the view that Members of the European Parliament should be encouraged to attend hearings on European citizens' initiatives;
7. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission, for information.
Amendments 5 and 4Parliament's Rules of Procedure Rule 197 a (new)
Public hearings on citizens' initiatives
1.When the Commission has published a citizens' initiative in the relevant register pursuant to point (a) of Article 10(1) of Regulation (EU) No 211/20111, the President of the European Parliament, on a proposal from the Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs:
(a) shall task a legislative committee responsible for the subject-matter according to Annex VII with organising the public hearing provided for in Article 11 of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011; the committee responsible for petitions shall be automatically associated with the legislative committee under Rule 50;
(b) may, where two or more citizens' initiatives published in the relevant register pursuant to point (a) of Article 10(1) of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 have a similar subject-matter, decide, after consulting the organisers, that a joint public hearing is to be organised at which all of the citizens' initiatives involved shall be dealt with on an equal footing.
2.The committee responsible:
(a) shall ascertain whether the Commission has received the organisers at an appropriate level in accordance with point (b) of Article 10(1) of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011;
(b) shall ensure, if necessary with the support of the Conference of Committee Chairs, that the Commission is properly involved in organising the public hearing and that it is represented at an appropriate level at the hearing.
3.The chair of the committee responsible shall convene the public hearing at an appropriate date within three months of the submission of the initiative to the Commission pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011.
4.The committee responsible shall organise the public hearing at Parliament, if appropriate together with such other institutions and bodies of the Union as may wish to participate. It may invite other stakeholders to attend.
The committee responsible shall invite a representative group of organisers, including at least one of the contact persons referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 3(2) of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, to present the initiative at the hearing.
5.The Bureau shall, in accordance with the arrangements agreed with the Commission, adopt rules concerning the reimbursement of incurred costs.
6.The President of Parliament and the Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs may delegate their powers under this Rule to a Vice-President and another committee chair respectively.
7.If the conditions laid down in Rule 50 or Rule 51 are met, those provisions shall also apply, mutatis mutandis, to other committees. Rule 188 shall also apply.
Rule 23(9) shall not apply to public hearings on citizens' initiatives.
1Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 on the citizens' initiative (OJ L 65, 11.3.2011, p. 1).
Amendment 2 Parliament's Rules of Procedure Rule 203 a
When Parliament is informed that the Commission has been invited to submit a proposal for a legal act under Article 11(4) of the EU Treaty, the Committee on Petitions
shall ascertain whether this is likely to affect its work and, if need be, shall inform those petitioners who have addressed a petition on related subjects.
When Parliament is informed that the Commission has been invited to submit a proposal for a legal act under Article 11(4) of the EU Treaty and in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 211/2011
, the committee responsible for petitions
shall ascertain whether this is likely to affect its work and, if need be, shall inform those petitioners who have addressed petitions on related subjects.
Proposed citizens' initiatives which have been registered in accordance with Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, but which cannot be submitted to the Commission in accordance with Article 9 of that Regulation since not all the relevant procedures and conditions laid down have been complied with, may be examined by the committee responsible for petitions if it considers that follow-up is appropriate. Rules 201, 202 and 203 shall apply mutatis mutandis.