Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
9th parliamentary term - November 2023
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Rule 171 : Allocation of speaking time and list of speakers (1)

1.   The Conference of Presidents may propose to Parliament that speaking time be allocated for a particular debate. Parliament shall decide on this proposal without debate.

2.   No speaker may speak unless called upon to do so by the President. If speakers depart from the subject matter of the debate, the President shall call them to order.

3.   Speakers whose interventions are foreseen on the list of speakers shall speak from the central rostrum. Speakers with disabilities may speak from their places if they prefer.

For all other interventions, speakers shall speak from their places.

4.   The President may draw up, for the first part of a particular debate, a list of speakers that includes one or more rounds of speakers from each political group wishing to speak, in the order of the relative size of those political groups.

5.   Speaking time for this part of a debate shall be allocated in accordance with the following criteria:

(a)   a first fraction of speaking time shall be divided equally among all the political groups;

(b)   a second fraction shall be divided among the political groups in proportion to the total number of their members;

(c)   the non-attached Members shall be allocated an overall speaking time based on the fractions allocated to each political group under points (a) and (b);

(d)   the allocation of speaking time in the plenary shall take into consideration the fact that Members with disabilities might need more time.

6.   Where a total speaking time is allocated for several items on the agenda, the political groups shall inform the President of the fractions of their speaking time to be used for each individual item. The President shall ensure that these speaking times are respected.

7.   The remaining part of the time for a debate shall not be specifically allocated in advance. Instead, the President may call on Members to speak, as a general rule for no more than one minute. The President shall, as far as possible, ensure that speakers who hold different political views and who come from different Member States are heard in turn.

8.   On request, the President may give priority to the Chair and to the rapporteur of the committee responsible, as well as to those Chairs of political groups who wish to speak on their groups' behalf, or to speakers who are deputising for them.

9.   The President may give the floor to Members who indicate, by raising a blue card, their wish to put to another Member, during that Member’s speech, a question of no longer than half a minute’s duration related to what that Member has said. The President shall only do so if the speaker agrees to the question and if the President is satisfied that this will lead neither to disruption of the debate nor, through the putting of successive questions by raising a blue card, to a gross imbalance in the political group affinities of Members speaking in that debate. The Member raising the blue card and the speaker shall not be from the same political group, and they shall not both be non-attached Members. Subject to the conditions set out in the second sentence, applied mutatis mutandis, the President may allow the Member who has asked such a question to react to the speaker’s answer for no longer than half a minute. The speaker may then follow up on that reaction.

10.   No Member may speak for more than one minute on any of the following subject matters: the minutes of the sitting, procedural motions, or amendments to the final draft agenda or the agenda.

11.   In the debate on a report, the Commission and the Council shall, as a rule, be heard immediately after the presentation, by the rapporteur, of his or her report. The Commission, the Council and the rapporteur may be heard again, in particular in order to respond to the statements made by Members.

12.   Members who have not spoken in a debate may, no more than once per part-session, hand in a written statement of not more than 200 words, which shall be appended to the verbatim report of the debate.

13.   Having due regard to Article 230 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the President shall seek to reach an understanding with the Commission, the Council and the President of the European Council on an appropriate allocation to them of speaking time.

(1) Rule 171(2) applies mutatis mutandis to committees.
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