EP Plenary Session Newsletter 1- 3 July 2014
What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: - Electing Parliament’s new President - Electing Parliament’s Vice-Presidents and Quaestors - Debate on the outcome of the European summit - Italy to take over EU Presidency from Greece
Electing Parliament’s new President
The first act of the newly-elected European Parliament when it meets on 1 July will be to elect its President. Acting President Gianni Pittella, who was re-elected to Parliament, will preside over the election of the new President, under Rule 14 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure.
Candidates for the presidency may be proposed either by a political group or by a minimum of forty MEPs (Rule 15 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure). The election is held by secret ballot.
In this special election, MEPs vote by marking the name of the candidate from the list on a paper ballot and placing it in a ballot box. The process is overseen by eight tellers, chosen by lot from among MEPs.
To be elected, a candidate must win an absolute majority of the valid votes cast, i.e. 50% plus one (Rule 16). Blank or spoiled ballots do not count in calculating the majority required. If no candidate is elected in the first round of voting, the same or other candidates can be nominated for a second round under the same conditions. This can be repeated in a third round if necessary, again with the same rules.
If no-one is elected at the third ballot, the two highest-scoring candidates in that round proceed to a fourth ballot, where the one receiving the greater number of votes wins.
The newly-elected President then takes the chair and is entitled to make an opening address before presiding over the election of the Vice-Presidents and Quaestors.
The duties of the President and Parliament’s presidents from 1952 to 2014 are listed in a background note.
Vote: Tuesday, 1 July
Procedure: Election of the EP President
Electing Parliament’s Vice-Presidents and Quaestors
Once the newly-elected President has taken the chair, the House will elect its 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors on Tuesday 1 July. The first round of elections of the 14 Vice-Presidents could take place at 12.30, depending on the outcome of voting for the President. The five Quaestors will be elected on Wednesday 2 July.
Candidates for the posts of Vice-President and Quaestor can be chosen either by a political group or by at least 40 Members before each ballot. The first ballot of vice-presidential election is held using a paper-based secret ballot, with a single ballot paper.
Candidates must win the support of an absolute majority of those casting valid ballots. If not all 14 posts are filled in the first round of voting, a second round can be held under the same conditions.
If there are still vacancies after the second round, then a third round can be held, in which a relative majority is enough to fill the remaining positions.
The order in which candidates are elected determines the order of precedence (Rule 17). If the number of candidates proposed is the same as the number of positions to be filled - 14 - then they will be elected by acclamation, with a vote held simply to determine the order of precedence.
A similar procedure is followed for the election of the Quaestors (Rule 18).
Vice-Presidents can replace the President in performing his duties when necessary, including chairing plenary sittings. (Rule 23) They are also members of the Bureau, the body responsible for all administrative, staff and organisational matters of the Parliament. The five Quaestors deal with administrative matters directly affecting MEPs themselves (Rule 28).
Vote: Tuesday, 1 July (Vice-Presidents) and Wednesday, 2 July (Questors)
Procedure: Election of Vice-presidents and Quaestors
Debate on the outcome of the European summit
MEPs will debate the results of the 26-27 June European Council with the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Commission President José Manuel Barroso on Wednesday morning.
Debate: Wednesday, 2 July
Procedure: Council and Commission statement 2013/2967(RSP)
Italy to take over EU Presidency from Greece
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will debate its EU Presidency priorities with MEPs on Wednesday at 15.00. A final debate on the work of its Greek predecessor, with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Commission President José Manuel Barroso, will be held on Wednesday morning.
The two-hour afternoon debate is set to focus on growth and employment, migration flows, the EU’s climate and energy policies, the digital single market, defence policy and financial services. Italy takes over the EU’s six-month rotating Presidency as of 1 July.
Debate: Wednesday, 2 July
Procedure: Council and Commission statements 2014/2609(RSP)
Forming Parliament’s committees
Parliament will vote on the numerical composition of its committees on Wednesday, 2 July, at 13.30.
The composition of Parliament’s committees should as far as possible, reflect the composition of Parliament.
The proportionality of the distribution of committee seats among political groups must not depart from the nearest appropriate whole number (Rule 199).
The Conference of Presidents’ proposal on the composition of the committees will be announced on Wednesday evening, at 19.00 and put to the vote on Thursday morning, at 11.00.
Committee chairs and vice-chairs will be elected at the committees’ respective constituent meetings, scheduled for Monday 7 July in Brussels.
Vote: Wednesday 2 July (numerical strength of committees) and Thursday 3 July (appointments to committees)
Procedure: 2014/2609(RSP) (numerical strength of committees) and 2014/2703(RSO) (appointments to committees)
For further information, please contact Catherine Bunyan, Press Officer on 086 8559423 or at email@example.com or contact the Irish MEPs' Press Officers directly.
To watch any part of the Plenary Session live, please click on the EP Live section of the Parliament's website and select Live Broadcast from the menu on the left-hand side.
To view a debate which has already taken place, please click on the Multimedia Library section of the Parliament's website, select 'search by date' from the menu on the left-hand side and choose the debate. You can also scroll through the speakers and just listen to a speaker of your choice.