Brussels, 20 October 2010
Commission and Parliament sign revised Framework Agreement
Today in Strasbourg, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek signed the revised Framework Agreement governing working relations between the two institutions. The signature brings to a successful conclusion a process that started almost one year ago with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. The revised FA adapts the existing accord from 2005 to the new Treaty framework. Both Presidents expressed confidence that it will deepen the relations between the two institutions and offer practical solutions in line with the increased competences of Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty. Important elements of the agreement have been implemented already, even before it comes into force, including progress on preparing the Commission's work programme for 2011.
President Barroso said: "This agreement marks a new departure following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty which reinforces the roles of the Commission and the European Parliament in driving forward the European agenda. I'm confident our work together will now go from strength to strength."
President Buzek said: "The European Parliament is proud of this new five-year Framework Agreement with the European Commission. It reflects the new more influential position of the European Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty and takes our special partnership with the European Commission to a new level. I welcome in particular that the Commission has undertaken to report on the concrete follow-up given to any legislative initiative requests by Parliament and the acceptance of the principle of equal treatment by the Commission of Parliament and the Council of Ministers in legislative and budgetary matters."
Maroš Šefčovič, Commission Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Administration, who negotiated on behalf of the Commission, added: "It's crucial that we have a solid and formally agreed basis for our work together, and that it's actually put into daily practice on the ground. I'll do everything I can to ensure that this happens. I'd like to thank the Parliament's negotiators for their efforts throughout what were always very frank discussions!"
Among a number of improvements, the revised agreement sets out rules and a timetable for an intensified and structured dialogue between the two institutions that allows the Commission to benefit from Parliament's input when the Commission is preparing its Work Programme as its contribution to EU programming.
It sets detailed rules for how the Commission will inform Parliament about the negotiation and conclusion of international agreements, whenever this responsibility falls on the Commission. It brings the rules for the provision of classified information to Parliament up to international standards and will thus make it easier to keep Parliament informed. It also sets out rules to enhance the information provided to Parliament in relation to the work of experts advising the Commission. It will also enhance dialogue and co-ordination with regard to planning of Parliament's part-sessions.
All this is aimed at intensifying the political dialogue between the institutions in full respect of the balance between the institutions as defined by the Treaties and the commitment to good cooperation between them. This will lead to a more efficient delivery of EU policies.