Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
9th parliamentary term - December, 2019
EPUB 136kPDF 654k


Rule 9 : Procedures on immunity

1.   Any request addressed to the President by a competent authority of a Member State for the immunity of a Member to be waived, or by a Member or a former Member for privileges and immunities to be defended, shall be announced in Parliament and referred to the committee responsible.

2.   With the agreement of the Member or the former Member concerned, the request may be made by another Member, who shall be permitted to represent the Member or former Member concerned at all stages of the procedure.

The Member representing the Member or the former Member concerned shall not be involved in the decisions taken by the committee.

3.   The committee shall consider, without delay but having regard to their relative complexity, requests for the waiver of immunity or requests for the defence of privileges and immunities.

4.   The committee shall make a proposal for a reasoned decision which recommends the adoption or rejection of the request for the waiver of immunity or for the defence of privileges and immunities. Amendments shall not be admissible. If a proposal is rejected, the contrary decision shall be deemed to have been adopted.

5.   The committee may ask the authority concerned to provide any information or explanation which the committee deems necessary in order for it to form an opinion on whether immunity should be waived or defended.

6.   The Member concerned shall be given an opportunity to be heard and may present any documents or other written evidence deemed by that Member to be relevant.

The Member concerned shall not be present during debates on the request for waiver or defence of his or her immunity, except for the hearing itself.

The Chair of the committee shall invite the Member to be heard, indicating a date and time. The Member concerned may renounce the right to be heard.

If the Member concerned fails to attend the hearing pursuant to that invitation, he or she shall be deemed to have renounced the right to be heard, unless he or she has asked to be excused from being heard on the date and at the time proposed, and has given his or her reasons. The Chair of the committee shall rule on whether such a request to be excused is to be accepted in view of the reasons given. The Member concerned shall not be permitted to appeal that ruling.

If the Chair of the committee grants the request to be excused, he or she shall invite the Member concerned to be heard at a new date and time. If the Member concerned fails to comply with the second invitation to be heard, the procedure shall continue without the Member being heard. No further requests to be excused, or to be heard, may then be accepted.

7.   Where the request seeks the waiver or the defence of immunity on several counts, each of these may be the subject of a separate decision. The committee's report may, exceptionally, propose that the waiver or the defence of immunity should apply solely to prosecution proceedings and that, until a final sentence is passed, the Member should be immune from any form of detention or remand or any other measure which prevents that Member from performing the duties proper to the mandate.

8.   The committee may offer a reasoned opinion as to the competence of the authority in question and the admissibility of the request, but shall not, under any circumstances, pronounce on the guilt, or otherwise, of the Member, nor shall it pronounce on whether or not the opinions or acts attributed to the Member justify prosecution, even if the committee, in considering the request, acquires detailed knowledge of the facts of the case.

9.   The committee's proposal for a decision shall be placed on the agenda of the first sitting following the day on which it was tabled. No amendments may be tabled to such a proposal.

Discussion shall be confined to the reasons for and against each proposal to waive or uphold immunity, or to defend a privilege or immunity.

Without prejudice to Rule 173, the Member whose privileges or immunities are under consideration shall not speak in the debate.

The proposal or proposals for a decision contained in the report shall be put to the vote at the first voting time following the debate.

After Parliament has considered the matter, a separate vote shall be taken on each of the proposals contained in the report. If a proposal is rejected, the contrary decision shall be deemed to have been adopted.

10.   The President shall immediately communicate Parliament's decision to the Member concerned and to the competent authority of the Member State concerned, with a request that the President be informed of any developments and judicial rulings in the relevant proceedings. When the President receives this information, he or she shall transmit it to Parliament in the way he or she considers most appropriate, if necessary after consulting the committee responsible.

11.   The committee shall treat these matters, and handle any documents received with the utmost confidentiality. The committee shall always consider requests relating to procedures on immunity in camera.

12.   Parliament shall only examine requests for the waiver of a Member's immunity that have been transmitted to it by the judicial authorities or by the Permanent Representations of the Member States.

13.   The committee shall lay down principles for the application of this Rule.

14.   Any inquiry as to the scope of Members' privileges or immunities made by a competent authority shall be dealt with in accordance with the above rules.

Last updated: 19 December 2019Legal notice - Privacy policy