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Cooperation between the European Parliament and the European Commission

The European Parliament and the European Commission have signed a Framework Agreement in order to facilitate and organise their cooperation. This agreement defines the procedures for their political collaboration.

ACT

Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission.

SUMMARY

This Framework Agreement has been signed between the European Parliament and the European Commission. It comprises several provisions relating to the organisation of work between the two institutions.

In particular, these provisions concern:

  • the political responsibility of the Commission;
  • the establishment of regular and effective political dialogue;
  • the implementation of legislative procedures.

Political responsibility of the Commission

There is a strong political connection between the composition of the European Commission and the Parliament. The President and the other members of the Commission must be approved by the Members of the European Parliament. The Parliament is then consulted on any reorganisation of the Commission, particularly with regard to:

  • the resignation and replacement of a Member of the Commission;
  • the redistribution of responsibilities within the Commission.

The Parliament may also make a request to the President of the Commission for the resignation of a Member of the Commission. The President shall then consider the request and provide an explanation in the case of a refusal.

Furthermore, Members of the Commission may stand as candidates in elections of the European Parliament. In such cases, the Framework Agreement specifies that they are required to take unpaid electoral leave during their election campaign.

Political dialogue

The Framework Agreement aims to establish effective cooperation between the Commission and the Parliament. It therefore provides for the organisation of regular meetings between representatives of the two institutions. These meetings may, for example, bring together the college of commissioners and the chairs of the parliamentary committees.

Through this Framework Agreement, the Parliament and the Commission have also undertaken to examine carefully any request made by either institution. In addition, the Commission commits to guaranteeing the Parliament access to its meetings and documents relating to legislative and budgetary procedures.

In addition, the Framework Agreement lays down specific provisions for concluding international agreements to which the EU is party. The Framework Agreement thus ensures that the Parliament is consulted during the negotiation and conclusion of agreements.

Furthermore, the Commission is the European institution responsible for representing the EU at international conferences. In this capacity, it is committed to facilitating the inclusion of delegations made up of Members of the European Parliament to accompany Union delegations to certain conferences. However, delegations made up of Members of the European Parliament shall only have observer status and cannot therefore participate in potential negotiations.

Lastly, the Framework Agreement provides for cooperation between the Commission and the Parliament in certain specific areas:

  • the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;
  • cooperation with national parliaments;
  • calling upon national experts to work with the Commission.

Cooperation in legislative procedures

The Framework Agreement specifies the organisation of the work between the Parliament and the Commission for implementing legislative procedures.

The Commission must firstly present its annual work programme to the Parliament. During the procedure for adopting acts, the Framework Agreement then guarantees several commitments on the part of the two institutions. These commitments concern for example the deadlines for the issue of amendments by the Parliament and the careful examination of such amendment by the Commission.

Furthermore, during the parliamentary examination of the legislative proposals, Members of the European Parliament may address questions to members of the Commission. These questions may be asked either during plenary sittings of the Parliament or through the parliamentary committees. Members of the Commission may also be heard before the Parliament at their request.

Context

Interinstitutional agreements are concluded between the European institutions on the basis of Article 295 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. The objective of these agreements is to organise and facilitate cooperation between the institutions, particularly between the Commission, the Parliament and the Council.

Furthermore, interinstitutional agreements are binding only on those institutions which have signed them. They cannot contradict or amend the provisions of the founding Treaties of the EU.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission.

20.10.2010

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OJ L 304 of 20.11.2010

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Last updated: 28.01.2011
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