Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
9th parliamentary term - January 2021
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Rule 209 : Composition of committees

1.   Members of committees, special committees and committees of inquiry shall be appointed by the political groups and the non-attached Members.

The Conference of Presidents shall set a deadline by which political groups and the non-attached Members are to communicate their appointments to the President, who shall then announce them to Parliament.

2.   The composition of the committees shall, as far as possible, reflect the composition of Parliament. The distribution of committee seats among political groups must be either the nearest whole number above or the nearest whole number below the proportional calculation.

Where there is no agreement among the political groups on their proportional weight within one or more specific committees, the Conference of Presidents shall decide.

3.   If a political group decides not to take seats on a committee, or fails to appoint its members within the deadline set by the Conference of Presidents, the seats in question shall remain vacant. Exchange of seats between political groups is not allowed.

4.   Where a Member’s change of political group has the effect of disturbing the proportional distribution of committee seats as defined in paragraph 2, and there is no agreement among political groups to ensure compliance with the principles set out therein, the Conference of Presidents shall take the necessary decisions.

5.   Any modifications decided to the appointments by political groups and non-attached Members shall be communicated to the President, who shall announce them to Parliament at the latest at the beginning of the next sitting. These decisions shall take effect from the day of the announcement.

6.   The political groups and the non-attached Members may appoint a number of substitutes for each committee which shall not exceed the number of full members that the political group or the non-attached Members are entitled to appoint in the committee. The President shall be informed accordingly. These substitutes shall be entitled to attend and to speak at committee meetings and, if the full member is absent, to take part in the vote.

7.   In the absence of the full member and where substitutes either have not been appointed or are absent, the full member may arrange to be represented at meetings by another member of the same political group, or, where the member is a non-attached Member, by another non-attached Member, who shall be entitled to vote. The Chair of the committee shall be notified at the latest by the beginning of the voting session.

The advance notification provided for in the last sentence of paragraph 7 must be given before the end of the debate or before the opening of the vote on the item or items for which the full member is to be replaced.

In accordance with this Rule:

–   the status of a full or substitute member of a committee shall depend exclusively on membership of a given political group;

–   if the number of a political group’s full members in a committee changes, the maximum number of permanent substitutes which it can appoint to that committee shall change accordingly;

–   Members who change their political group may not keep the status of full or substitute member of a committee which they had as members of their original group;

–   a committee member may not under any circumstances be a substitute for a colleague who belongs to another political group.

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