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Procedure : 2020/2271(IMM)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0134/2021

Texts tabled :

A9-0134/2021

Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/04/2021 - 2

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0116

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 27 April 2021 - Brussels
Request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man
P9_TA(2021)0116A9-0134/2021

European Parliament decision of 27 April 2021 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man (2020/2271(IMM))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man forwarded by letter of 30 October 2020 by the Public Prosecutor at the Brussels Court of Appeal, in connection with criminal proceedings, and announced in plenary on 14 December 2020,

–  having regard to the waiver by Filip De Man of his right to be heard under Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Article 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 Article 59 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Belgium,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17 January 2013 and 19 December 2019(1),

–  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 (A9-0134/2021),

A.  whereas the Public Prosecutor at the Brussels Court of Appeal has submitted a request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man, elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the Kingdom of Belgium, in connection with his alleged involvement in a road accident on 1 May 2019 with material damage and the aggravating circumstance of failure to remain at the scene;

B.  whereas Filip De Man stands accused of colliding with a traffic island on 1 May 2019, in Vilvoorde, of failing to stop and of driving on to his home; whereas the police stated that debris from Filip De Man’s vehicle was scattered along the road and that a visible trail ran from the scene of the accident to his home; whereas Filip De Man was finally interviewed by the police criminal investigation department, after numerous requests to attend had been sent, and explained that he had indeed knocked over the concrete post concerned and had been unable to stop because of the crowd of people on the street;

C.  whereas the alleged offence falls under Article 33 of the Belgian Law of 16 March 1968 on the policing of road traffic and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of between 15 days and six months and a fine of between EUR 200 and EUR 2000;

D.  whereas Parliament cannot assume the role of a court, and whereas, in a waiver of immunity procedure, a Member cannot be regarded as a defendant(2);

E.  whereas under the first subparagraph of Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, Members of the European Parliament enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament, and, in the territory of any other Member State, immunity from any measure of detention and from legal proceedings;

F.  whereas the first paragraph of Article 59 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Belgium provides as follows: ‘Save in cases in flagrante delicto, no member of either House may, during a session and in criminal matters, be sent for trial or summoned directly before a court, or be arrested, except with the authorisation of the House of which he is a member.’;

G.  whereas it is for Parliament alone to decide, in a given case, whether or not to waive immunity; whereas Parliament may reasonably take account of the position of the Member in order to decide whether or not to waive his immunity(3);

H.  whereas the alleged offence has no direct or obvious bearing on the performance by Filip De Man of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament, and nor does it constitute an opinion expressed or vote cast in the performance of those duties within the meaning of Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union;

I.  whereas, in this case, Parliament has found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, i.e. a sufficiently serious and precise suspicion that the proceedings have been brought with the intention of causing the Member political damage;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Filip De Man;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of the Kingdom of Belgium and to Filip De Man.

(1) 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; judgment of the Court of Justice of 19 December 2019, Junqueras Vies, C-502/19, ECLI:EU:C:2019:1115.
(2) Judgment of the General Court of 30 April 2019, Briois v Parliament, T-214/18, ECLI:EU:T:2019:266.
(3) Judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440, paragraph 28.

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