Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
9th parliamentary term - February 2020
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Rule 5 : Privileges and immunities

1.   Members enjoy the privileges and immunities laid down in the Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union.

2.   In exercising its powers on privileges and immunities, Parliament shall act to uphold its integrity as a democratic legislative assembly and to ensure the independence of its Members in the performance of their duties. Parliamentary immunity is not a Member's personal privilege but a guarantee of the independence of Parliament as a whole, and of its Members.

3.   A laissez-passer of the European Union allowing a Member to circulate freely in the Member States and in other countries which recognise it as a valid travel document shall be issued by the European Union to a Member at his or her request, on condition that the President of the Parliament gives his or her authorisation.

4.   For the purpose of performing their parliamentary duties, all Members shall have the right to participate actively in the work of Parliament’s committees and delegations in accordance with the provisions of these Rules of Procedure.

5.   Members shall be entitled to inspect any files held by Parliament or a committee, other than personal files and accounts, which only the Members concerned shall be allowed to inspect. Exceptions to this rule, concerning the handling of documents to which public access may be denied, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1), are laid down in Rule 221.

With the approval of the Bureau, a Member may, on the basis of a reasoned decision, be denied the right to inspect a Parliament document if, after hearing the Member concerned, the Bureau comes to the conclusion that such an inspection would cause unacceptable damage to Parliament’s institutional interests or to the public interest, and that the Member concerned is seeking to inspect the document for private and personal reasons. The Member may lodge a written appeal against such a decision within one month of the notification thereof. In order to be admissible, written appeals must include reasons. Parliament shall reach a decision on the appeal without debate during the part-session that follows its lodging.

Access to confidential information is subject to the rules laid down in interinstitutional agreements concluded by Parliament relating to the treatment of confidential information (2) and to the internal rules for their implementation adopted by Parliament's competent bodies (3).

(1) Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43).
(2) Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 November 2002 between the European Parliament and the Council concerning access by the European Parliament to sensitive information of the Council in the field of security and defence policy (OJ C 298, 30.11.2002, p. 1). Framework Agreement of 20 October 2010 on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission (OJ L 304, 20.11.2010, p. 47). Interinstitutional Agreement of 12 March 2014 between the European Parliament and the Council concerning the forwarding to and handling by the European Parliament of classified information held by the Council on matters other than those in the area of the common foreign and security policy (OJ C 95, 1.4.2014, p. 1).
(3) Decision of the European Parliament of 23 October 2002 on the implementation of the Interinstitutional Agreement governing European Parliament access to sensitive Council information in the sphere of security and defence policy (OJ C 298, 30.11.2002, p. 4). Decision of the Bureau of 15 April 2013 concerning the rules governing the treatment of confidential information by the European Parliament (OJ C 96, 1.4.2014, p. 1).
Last updated: 31 January 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy