Sassoli: European Parliament political groups united on proceeding quickly with reforms 

Statement by the European Parliament President

"Today I gathered the Conference of the Presidents, made up of the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament, in an extraordinary meeting to discuss proposals to reform the functioning of our institution after the experience of the pandemic. These proposals are the result of the reflection launched in spring, involving MEPs from all political backgrounds.

“We examined in detail the proposals which focus on reform of plenary sessions, strengthening Parliament's prerogatives and oversight, the role of parliamentary diplomacy, and communicating more effectively with citizens. The return of in-person parliamentary activity and the possibility of remote working in certain circumstances, as used in the pandemic, were at the centre of today’s discussions.

“The Presidents have decided that already from the next plenary session the European Parliament will return to meeting in-person and will introduce new ways of working on a trial basis. These include a limited number of key debates at prime times, a dedicated slot for foreign policy debates in the presence of the High Representative, and the use of catch the eye and blue cards in discussions with the Commission and the Council. Members will also have the possibility to speak from the central podium and sit in the front rows during debates that concern them.

“After this initial discussion, I will bring the reform proposals to the attention of the Bureau of the European Parliament, during its meeting in Bazoches, in the Jean Monnet House, on Friday.

“In today's meeting, all political groups expressed great appreciation for the work done by the focus groups and their willingness to proceed quickly on these important reforms."