Verification of new MEPs
Newly-elected MEP credentials are verified to ascertain that they do not hold an office that is incompatible with being a Member of the European Parliament. Examples include being a member of government or parliament in an EU Member State, the European Commission, the Court of Justice, the European Central Bank Board of Directors, the Court of Auditors, or the European Investment Bank. Active officials of EU institutions or bodies set up under the EU treaties to manage community funds are also barred from becoming MEPs.
Once election results are official, Member States communicate the names of those who have won a seat to the EP and the President, in turn, asks the competent authorities of the Member States them to take the measures necessary to avoid any issues related to incompatibility of offices.
Before taking their seats, new MEPs whose election has been notified to Parliament must declare, in writing, that they do not hold an office incompatible with that of an MEP’s. This declaration needs to be made no later than six days before Parliament's constitutive sitting.
New MEP credentials are checked ex post by the Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee, which draws up a decision based on the information provided by Member States. The decision is then passed on to the President who informs the plenary during the next sitting. In addition to checking credentials, Parliament also rules on any disputes pursuant to the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage, except those based on national electoral laws.
Where it is established that an MEP holds an incompatible office, the Parliament "shall establish that there is a vacancy."