Rapporteur - EU monitor

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Rapporteur

Source: Europa Nu.

A rapporteur is a member of the European Parliament made responsible for handling a legislative proposal drawn up by the European Commission, both procedurally as well as with regard to the substance of the proposal. The rapporteur leads negotiations with the other institutions on his or her dossier and handles the discussions in the responsible committee of the European Parliament as well as in plenary.

Rapporteurs may also handle other EU documents such as important reports or strategic guidelines. Finally, the EP (either in plenary or in committee) might deem a certain topic or problem important and will ask a rapporteur to draw up a report or opinion.

Rapporteurs are selected by the EP committee responsible for that particular topic. The rapporteur must be member of that committee.

Tasks

A rapporteur is responsible for:

  • analysing the proposal
  • consult with specialists and experts and organise special sessions or hearings for the committee responsible
  • discuss with members of the committee
  • make recommendations to the committee on what position to take. The committee can amend the position, and will vote on the position and all amendments made to it
  • explain and, if necessary, defend the position of the rapporteur as voted upon by the committee through plenary
  • leading the negotiations with other institutions (Council and Commission)

Working method

Generally speaking the rapporteur will first create a working document that serves as a basis for discussion in committee and for dialogue with experts. The Commission is usually invited to present, clarify and defend its proposal.

The next step for the rapportteur is to write a preliminary report. This document is subject to discussion in committee, and is open to amendments by and subject to resolutions of other member of the committee. The report and all accompanying amendments and resolutions are then subject to a vote in plenary.

The rapporteur, if necessary, will then have the lead any dealings with the other insitutions on the proposal dealth with in the report.

Shadow rapporteurs

A rapporteur is not politically neutral, but a member of a political family. To ensure their point of view is not left out in the proceedings other political groupings often appoint shadow rapporteurs, especially when politically sensitive proposals are involved. The rapporteur and shadow rapporteur(s) jointly review all amendments to a report and try to find a compromise if necessary.

In practice

Importance

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Own topic: you make report

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