Blog AnalysisEU Institutions

The sanitary cordon vis-à-vis the far right: legal or not?

(B2) The formation of a 'cordon sanitaire' by the other political groups could deprive the new nationalist I&D group of the two parliamentary committee positions to which it might have been entitled. As she has already deprived him of the two posts of vice-presidents of parliament. Does this political position comply with the very rules of Parliament? Not easy

The leaders of the I&D group at the plenary of the European Parliament on July 2: the German Jörg Meuthen, the French Nicolas Bay, the Italian Marco Zanni, and the Belgian Gerolf Annemans (credit: twitter / Gerolf Annemans) ‏

A custom, not an obligatory rule

It is customary for the distribution of the main management positions in Parliament to be made between the main groups according to an improved proportional rule (Hondt's law). But this usage is not fully transposed into the rules of Parliament (the latest version of which came into force at the beginning of July). The rule therefore remains the election of the various leaders in a majority vote. The notion of equitable representation has simply been included.

A balance in the leadership of Parliament

Article 15 of the regulation speaks well " fair representation of political tendencies when electing the President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors, such as gender balance and geographical balance. »

"In the election of the President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors, consideration should be given in a comprehensive manner to a fair representation of political tendencies, as well as to the balance between men and women and to the geographical balance. »

A balance in the composition of the committees and their offices

For parliamentary committees, the Rules of Procedure of Parliament (article 209-2) is less accurate. He thus speaks of a necessary balance in the presence of committee members. There " composition of the committees reflects as much as possible the composition of Parliament. »

It is also mentioned that the formation of the offices of the commissions (presidency and vice-presidencies) respects “ the diversity of the parliament, however expressly giving only two rules to be respected for this diversity: gender balance and geographical balance (article 213). But the rule of political balance (defined in article 15) also normally applies, a reference being made to this article 'mutatis mutandis'.

"At the first committee meeting following the designation of the members of the committees in accordance with Article 209, the committee elects, from among its full members and by separate rounds of balloting, the members who shall act as chairman and vice-chairman and who make up the bureau of the commission. The number of vice-presidents to be elected is determined by Parliament on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents. The diversity of Parliament should be reflected in the composition of each committee's bureau. It is not permitted for an office to be exclusively male or female or for all vice-presidents to come from the same Member State. »

Is there a balance in the presidencies of the committees, that is the question

We can notice that a balance is indeed mentioned in the whole 'bureau', but not strictly in the presidencies of the commissions. Will the allocation of one or more vice-presidencies to the nationalist I&D group be enough to satisfy the notion of 'diversity' and balance? It is a very political question, but which could also become very legal if the court of the EU were to be seized. This will not be the first time that the judges will have to decide on sensitive issues.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Undemocratic mistakes

The I&D (Identity and Democracy) group seems to be the victim of the desire of several groups in Parliament, in particular the parliamentary majority (European People's Party, Social Democrats and centrist-liberals of Renew), to do everything possible to remove the nationalists from representative positions of the European Parliament. This decision can be criticized in the name of a certain equality between the groups. But it is also the price of an attitude that does not respect certain rules within the assembly. I'attitude of the I&D group during its first press conference did not escape anyone. He demonstrated that a sense of democratic discipline and respect was not really a shared value within the new group. Some also remember the travels of certain MEPs who adorned themselves with the terminology 'delegation of the European Parliament' to carry out, in particular in Crimea with the pro-Russians or in Syria with Bashar el Assad, a very personal diplomacy not shared by a very large majority of MEPs.

Read also: The new nationalist deal in the European Parliament. The vision of the I&D group

Correction 8 a.m. - 16 p.m. with details of the articles concerned (article references 15, 209 and 213).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).