Procedure : 2017/2020(IMM)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0217/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0217/2017

Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/06/2017 - 8.4

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0259

REPORT     
PDF 251kWORD 48k
12.6.2017
PE 605.950v02-00 A8-0217/2017

on the request for waiver of the immunity of Jean-Marie Le Pen

(2017/2020(IMM))

Committee on Legal Affairs

Rapporteur: Evelyn Regner

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the request for waiver of the immunity of Jean-Marie Le Pen

(2017/2020(IMM))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Jean-Marie Le Pen, forwarded on 22 December 2016 by the French Minister of Justice, Mr Jean-Jacques Urvoas, in connection with a request from the Prosecutor-General at the Paris Court of Appeal and announced in plenary on 16 January 2017,

–  having heard Jean-Marie Le Pen in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011 and 17 January 2013(1),

–  having regard to Article 26 of the Constitution of the French Republic,

–  having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0217/2017),

A.  whereas the Prosecutor-General at the Paris Court of Appeal has requested the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of a Member of the European Parliament, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in connection with criminal investigations;

B.  whereas the request by the Prosecutor-General relates to allegations that Jean-Marie Le Pen made a statement during a radio broadcast amounting to incitement to discrimination, hatred or racial violence, which is a criminal offence under the French Criminal Code;

C.  whereas, pursuant to Article 26 of the Constitution of the French Republic, ‘no Member of Parliament […] shall be subject to investigation, arrest, detention or conviction by a court of law for opinions expressed or votes cast by him while carrying out his duties’ and whereas no Member of Parliament may be ‘arrested or otherwise deprived of, or restricted in, his liberty on account of a crime or misdemeanour’ without the consent of Parliament;

D.  whereas Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union stipulates that Members of the European Parliament shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties;

E.  whereas, in accordance with Rule 5(2) of its Rules of Procedure, parliamentary immunity is not a Member’s personal privilege but a guarantee of the independence of Parliament as a whole and of its Members;

F.  whereas the provisions concerning parliamentary immunity must be interpreted in the light of the values, aims and principles of the Treaties;

G.  whereas, for Members of the European Parliament, this absolute immunity implies that opinions cannot be challenged, whether expressed during official Parliament meetings or elsewhere, for example in the media, when there is ‘a link between the opinion expressed and […] parliamentary duties’(2);

H.  whereas there is no connection between the contested statement and the parliamentary work of Jean-Marie Le Pen, and whereas Jean-Marie Le Pen was therefore not acting in his capacity as a Member of the European Parliament;

I.  whereas, pursuant to Article 9 of Protocol No 7, during the sessions of the European Parliament its Members shall enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament;

J.  whereas only the immunity covered under Article 9 may be waived(3);

K.  whereas the purpose of such immunity is to protect Parliament and its Members from legal proceedings relating to activities carried out in the performance of parliamentary duties which cannot be separated from those duties;

L.  whereas where such proceedings do not concern the performance of a Member’s duties, immunity should be waived unless it appears that the intention underlying the legal proceedings may be to damage a Member’s political activity and thus Parliament’s independence (fumus persecutionis);

M.  whereas, on the basis of the information provided in this case, there is no reason to suspect that the proceedings relating to Jean-Marie Le Pen are motivated by an intent to damage his political activity as a Member of the European Parliament;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Jean-Marie Le Pen;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority in France and to Jean-Marie Le Pen.

(1)

Judgment of the Court of Justice of 12 May 1964, Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier, 101/63, ECLI:EU:C:1964:28; judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 1986, Wybot v Faure and others, 149/85, ECLI:EU:C:1986:310; judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440; judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C-200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C-163/10, ECLI: EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23.

(2)

Judgment in Patriciello, cited above, paragraph 33.

(3)

Judgment in Marra, cited above, paragraph 45.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

12.6.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

13

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Joëlle Bergeron, Jean-Marie Cavada, Laura Ferrara, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Mary Honeyball, Sajjad Karim, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Gilles Lebreton, António Marinho e Pinto, Emil Radev, Julia Reda, Evelyn Regner, Pavel Svoboda, Axel Voss

Substitutes present for the final vote

Antanas Guoga, Heidi Hautala, Virginie Rozière, Kosma Złotowski

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Dominique Bilde

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