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Procedure : 2016/2015(IMM)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0230/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0230/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 13/09/2016 - 4.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0324

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 13 September 2016 - Strasbourg
Request for the defence of the privileges and immunities of Rosario Crocetta
P8_TA(2016)0324A8-0230/2016

European Parliament decision of 13 September 2016 on the request for defence of the privileges and immunities of Rosario Crocetta (2016/2015(IMM))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request by Rosario Crocetta of 7 January 2016, announced in plenary on 21 January 2016, for the defence of his privileges and immunities in connection with criminal proceedings pending before the third Criminal Chamber of the Court of Palermo, Italy (RGNR No 20445/2012),

–  having heard Rosario Crocetta in accordance with Rule 9(5) 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 595 of the Italian Criminal Code,

–  having regard to Rule 5(2) and Rules 7 and 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0230/2016),

A.  whereas a former Member of the European Parliament, Rosario Crocetta, has requested the defence of his parliamentary immunity in connection with criminal proceedings pending before the third Criminal Chamber of the Court of Palermo; whereas, according to the notice served by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Mr Crocetta is alleged to have made defamatory statements, which behaviour is punishable under Article 595 of the Italian Criminal Code;

B.  whereas, according to Article 8 of Protocol No 7, Members of the European Parliament may 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; whereas such immunity must, to the extent that it seeks to protect the freedom of expression and independence of Members of the European Parliament, be considered as an absolute immunity barring any judicial proceedings in respect of an opinion expressed or a vote cast in the exercise of parliamentary duties(2);

C.  whereas the Court of Justice has held, that, in order to enjoy immunity, an opinion must be expressed by a Member of the European Parliament in the performance of his duties, thus entailing the requirement of a link between the opinion expressed and the parliamentary duties; whereas such link must be direct and obvious(3);

D.  whereas Rosario Crocetta was a Member of the European Parliament when he made the statements in question;

E.  whereas Mr Crocetta’s parliamentary record shows that he had always been very active in the fight against organised crime and its impact on the Union and its Member States; whereas he also focused on the influence of systematic corruption on politics and the economy, especially as regards public procurement in the field of environmental policy;

F.  whereas the facts of the case, as manifested in the documents provided to the Committee on Legal Affairs and in the hearing before the latter, indicate that Mr Crocetta’s statements have a direct and obvious connection with his parliamentary duties;

G.  whereas Rosario Crocetta can therefore be deemed to have been acting in the performance of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament;

1.  Decides to defend the privileges and immunities of Rosario Crocetta;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its competent committee immediately to the appropriate authorities of the Italian Republic and to Rosario Crocetta.

(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) Joined Cases C-200/07 and C-201/07 Marra, cited above, paragraph 27.
(3) Case C-163/10 Patriciello, cited above, paragraphs 33 and 35.

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