Parliament modifies its rules to adapt them to Lisbon Treaty

Parliament is now fully prepared for the increased powers it is acquiring under the Lisbon Treaty. MEPs have adopted changes to the EP's internal rules to reflect the arrival of 18 new MEPs, the increase in its legislative powers and a new budget procedure that puts Parliament on an equal footing with the Council.

Altogether, 18 new MEPs from 12 Member States will take their seats in Parliament after the new Lisbon Treaty enters into force and a protocol confirming the addition of MEPs has been ratified by all Member States. Until then, the MEPs-designate will not enjoy voting rights but can have observer status, a possibility now added to Parliament' Rules of Procedure.

The rule changes also reflect the significant increase in Parliament's legislative powers. With the Lisbon Treaty, almost all issues fall under the "ordinary legislative procedure", in which Parliament and Council are equal as lawmakers. Budget rules were also revised as Parliament will enjoy full parity with Council in deciding the EU budget.

In addition, the procedure for appointing the Commission President was modified as Parliament will have more power in this matter. Further changes to the EP's Rules of Procedure provide for the legislative impact of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Parliament's right to propose treaty changes and the increased influence of national parliaments.