The right of petition is the right of any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, to submit a request or complaint to the European Parliament on a matter which comes within the Union's fields of activity and which affects him, her or it directly (Article 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU).
The Parliament's Committee on Petitions considers whether such requests are admissible. Where it sees fit, it may refer a question to the Ombudsman. When drawing up an opinion on a petition deemed to be admissible, it may ask the European Commission for documents or information. It can also send the petition to other parliamentary committees for information purposes in order for them to take action. In certain exceptional cases, the Committee on Petitions can submit a report to the Parliament for adoption in plenary session or to conduct a fact-finding mission.