Dear European Parliament,
Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:
The sum total amounts paid out to facilitate transition for (i) MEPs who lost their seats or retired after the last election (ii) the transitional payments made to their staff, indicating the relevant budget lines in each instance
My address is
313, Norman Shaw North
House of Commons
Westminster SW1A 0AA
Our ref.: A(2016)5301, 5324, 5387, 5390, 5396, 5397, 5398, 5469, 5471,
5474, 5475, 5522, 5524, 5526, 5647, 5649, 5650, 5655, 5754
Dear Mr Rotherham,
we have received 19 requests for information from you. In order to treat
them efficiently they will be processed together by Parliament’s relevant
You will receive an answer in due time.
TRANSPARENCY – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service
Directorate for the Library
AccesDocs at ep dot europa dot eu
Dear Mr Rotherham,
The Citizens’ Enquiries Unit of the European Parliament has been asked to
reply to your nineteen requests for information, as well as your recent
message of 27 May 2016. Since many of these requests have overlapping
issues, it was decided to process them together in order to treat your
requests as efficiently as possible.
Information on budget related issues
As most of your questions relate to the Parliament’s budget, a more
general introduction might be useful to you: the Parliament’s budget
amounts to about € 1.795 billion of which 34% relate to staffing costs,
mainly salaries for the around 7000 officials working in the General
Secretariat and in the Political Groups. Moreover, this expenditure covers
interpretation costs, the costs of external translation and staff mission
As the Parliament is a democratically-elected institution, involved in
making laws that are binding in all Member States, an important proportion
of its permanent, temporary and freelance staff work to translate or
interpret its proceedings, so that Members and citizens alike can follow
About 23% of the 2015 budget is dedicated to MEP-related costs, including
salaries, travel, offices and the pay of their personal staff.
Expenditure on Parliament’s buildings accounts for 12% of the 2015 budget.
It covers rent of buildings, construction, maintenance, security and
running costs in the three main places of work - Brussels, Luxembourg and
Strasbourg - as well as for its information offices in the 28 Member
Administrative expenditure such as IT and telecommunications account for
25%. Political Group activities account for a further 6% of the budget.
Parliament’s budget for the present and past may be found on the
EUR-Lex website (the European Union’s Publications Office website
providing public access to European Union law), researchable line by line.
In the following paragraphs Parliament will refer to the relevant lines
when appropriate. For further explanations and a visual presentation of
the figures of the overall EU budget and the administrative costs for the
institutions you may consult the relevant webpage on the Europa
As for spending the budget, Parliament’s most recently available 'Report
on Budgetary and Financial Management' of the European Parliament is that
for the year 2014. This report, together with several other documents
on specific sections of Parliament’s spending, is available on the
Parliament’s Committee for Budgetary Control (CONT) webpages. The
reports for 2015 will be published on the same pages as soon as they
become available within the discharge procedure. You may find further
information on the procedure for establishing and executing Parliament’s
budget on its website.
Members’ salaries and allowances
All MEPs are entitled to the same salary and allowances (Please see the
Statute for Members, or rules governing the mandate for Members of the
European Parliament, which entered into force on the first day of the 7th
parliamentary term beginning in 2009, OJ L 262, 7.10.2005, p. 1–10).
The monthly pre-tax salary of MEPs is € 8,213.02 (July 2015) (see MEPs’
Statute). This salary is paid from Parliament's budget and is subject to
an EU tax, after which the salary is € 6,400.04. This salary may also be
subject to a national tax in the respective Member States. The MEPs' basic
salary is set at 38.5% of the basic salary of a judge at the European
Court of Justice.
Rules and regulations on Members’ of the European Parliament’s allowances
are laid down in the decision of the Bureau of the European Parliament of
19 May and 9 July 2008 (Bureau Decision of 19 May and 9 July 2008 laying
down implementing measures for the Statute of Members of the European
Parliament, OJ C 159 of 13 July 2009, p.1) . In particular, these rules
establish the following allowances:
1) Travel expenses: MEPs are entitled to the reimbursement of the expenses
incurred for duty travel undertaken in connection with meetings of the
European Parliament (plenary, committee and political group meetings) in
Brussels or Strasbourg. Reimbursement of such travel expenses is based on
presentation of the relevant original bill or invoice. MEPs may also be
refunded up to € 4,264 per year for other travel outside their own Member
State undertaken as part of their work, and be reimbursed for up to 24
return journeys within their own Member State.
2) Subsistence expenses: MEPs are entitled to a flat-rate allowance of €
306 to cover accommodation and related costs for each day that they are
present on official business, provided that they sign a register to attest
their presence. The allowance covers hotel bills, meals and all other
expenses involved. The allowance is reduced by half if MEPs miss more than
half the roll-call votes on days when plenary votes are held, even if they
are present. For meetings outside the EU, the allowance is € 153 (again
subject to signing a register) with hotel bills refunded separately.
3) General expenditure allowance: MEPs are entitled to a general
expenditure allowance in the form of a lump sum to cover expenditure such
as office rent and management costs, telephone and postal charges,
computers and telephones. The amount of this allowance in 2015 was € 4 320
4) Assistance from personal staff: MEPs are entitled to assistance from
personal staff, the recruitment of whom is their own responsiblity. They
can make use of accredited parliamentary assistants (based in Brussels,
Strasbourg or Luxembourg) and local assistants. The working conditions and
job description of accredited parliamentary assistants are established by
Council Regulation (EU) No 160/2009 of 23 February 2009 (OJ L 55,
27.2.2009, p. 1–8). The scale of their basic salary was updated in 2015
(OJ C 415, 15.12.2015, p. 3). Local assistants are persons who are to
assist them in their Member States of election and who have concluded an
employment or service contract with them in keeping with applicable
national law. The employment and service contracts with local assistants
are governed by national law and administrated by qualified paying agents
established in a Member State. The maximum amount defrayed in respect of
services provided may not exceed 25% of the maximum monthly amount
defrayable in respect of all the personal staff, at present € 23,392 per
For further details, the Parliament invites you to consult its
website, which contains extensive information on the type and amounts
of allowances to which MEPs are entitled in their parliamentary work
(scroll down to 'Salaries and pensions' or 'MEPs’ allowances').
Any Member who has exercised a mandate for more than 12 months is, at the
end of his/her mandate, entitled to a transitional allowance (established
in the MEPs' Statute and explained in the Bureau’s decision concerning
implementing measures for the Statute for Members of the European
Parliament) and an old-age pension (from the age of 63). Members who
qualify for both entitlements at the end of their mandate shall choose
which of the two entitlements they wish to receive. If they opt for the
transitional allowance, they will be transferred automatically into the
pension system, but only once the transitional allowance has ended.
Furthermore, two-thirds of medical expenses are covered for former Members
and their families (subject to certain conditions) as long as they receive
either a pension or the transitional allowance. In addition, half of the
monthly amount of the general expenditure allowance is payable for a
period of three months after the month in which a Member's term of office
ends, provided that the latter has served for at least six months.
Relocation costs are not covered.
As the size and duration of these entitlements vary with each beneficiary,
and as the entitlements can span more than one calendar year, it is not
possible to provide an annual breakdown of the costs associated with the
departing MEPs for any given year. Rather, the budget of each year will
express in a joint sum the combined expenses paid to existing
beneficiaries and those having left during the year (see budget line 102,
figures for 2016). Likewise, those having left during any given year
are likely to hold entitlements payable in the following year as well. As
regards medical expenses and general expenditure allowance, the expenses
of sitting Members and former Members are paid from the same budgetary
envelope (budget line 1006). Hence it is impossible to distinguish
expenses of former Members from expenses of Members in office. However,
some additional information can be provided on how the entitlements are
The transitional allowance equals the monthly salary of the MEPs and is
payable for one month per whole year of mandate with a minimum entitlement
of 6 months and a maximum entitlement of 24 months. The statutory
transitional allowance is reduced by the amount a former Member receives
as salary when taking up a mandate in another Parliament or assuming a
public office, meaning:
- a paid elected post involving the exercise of the prerogatives of
- membership of a national or regional government;
- a post as senior officials exercising public authority;
- a post as an official or Member of a Community institution.
The old-age pension is paid from the age of 63. The amount equals 3.5% of
the monthly salary of an MEP for each full year of mandate and one twelfth
thereof for each further full month, but not more than 70% of the monthly
salary of an MEP in total. A special pension system exists for Members
elected in France and Italy before 2009, as these two Member States do not
grant national pensions for European mandates exercised before July 2009.
As mentioned above, 50% of the monthly amount of the general expenditure
allowance is payable for a period of three months following the month in
which a Member's term of office ends. The actual monthly amount of the
general expenditure allowance is € 4,320. The transitional allowance is
subject to tax for the benefit of the European Union, calculated in
accordance with Article 12 of the Statute for Members.
Members of the European Parliament may reimburse the non-used part of
their general expenditure allowance (see above) as it is an allowance in
the form of a lump sum (covering expenditure such as office rent and
management costs, telephone and postal charges, computers and telephones).
You may find information about the amounts in the answers to the questions
tabled annually by Members of the Budgetary Control Committee (CONT)
during the preparation of the decision on the European Parliaments'
discharge for budgetary and financial management. In 2013 almost all
Members requested the full amount. The appropriations left unused amounted
to € 145,116. € 90,935 were reimbursed to Parliament, corresponding to
0.6% of the appropriations (see 'Information on the budgetary and the
financial management of the European Parliament in 2013 and replies to the
questionnaire in preparation for the EP discharge for 2013', question 20).
In 2014 1,168 MEPs (7th and 8th terms altogether, including departing MEPs
before the end of their mandates) used the full amount. The amount of
funds left unused amounted to € 83,205 (see 'Information on the
budgetary and the financial management of the European Parliament in 2014
and replies to the questionnaire in preparation for the EP discharge for
2014', question 41).
In the same section of Parliament’s website you will find further relevant
documents for the discharge procedure. The secretariat of the Committee
for Budgetary Control has been publishing the documents you are requesting
for the budgetary discharge procedure since 1997. You may find the most
recent documents under the discharge procedure tab of the CONT
website. All procedures from 1997 to 2012 may be found in the right hand
side column on CONT’s homepage, by scrolling down below the picture of
CONT’s chairperson to the item 'CONT’s activities: discharges'. As for the
procedure in general a recent briefing of the European Parliamentary
Research Service might be helpful.
As far as political groups in accordance with Rule 33 of the
Parliament’s Rules of Procedure are concerned, they are provided with a
secretariat on the basis of the establishment plan of Parliament’s
Secretariat, with administrative facilities and with the appropriations
entered for that purpose in Parliament’s budget. They are obliged to
present an annual account to the European Parliament. In these
documents you will find the relevant sums.
Parliament’s Bureau adopted on 17 June 2009 the rules on provision of IT
and telecommunications equipment to Members. The rules were last updated
on 16 June 2014. Parliament provides each Member in Brussels with one
desktop computer and a screen as well as a mobile tablet device. In
Strasbourg each Member is provided with one desktop computer and a screen.
Members’ assistants are provided with one desktop computer and a screen in
Brussels and Strasbourg. The relevant rules are accessible in
Parliament’s Public Register of Documents; information about the
budget you will find in chapter 21 of the annual budget. Furthermore the
Directorate General for Innovation and Technical Support (ITEC) has
published its 2014 Annual Activity report among the above mentioned
discharge documents. There you will the figures for the budget’s
implementation. As 2014 was an election year the budget also reflects the
acquisition and installation of IT material for the Members of the 8^th
Transport of Members and staff
The EU's national governments unanimously decided in 1992 to fix the seats
of the EU institutions permanently. This decision also affected the
working arrangements for the Parliament: its official seat and the venue
for most of the plenary sessions would be Strasbourg; parliamentary
committees would have their meetings in Brussels; and Parliament's
Secretariat (its staff) would be based in Luxembourg. In 1997 this whole
arrangement was incorporated into the EU treaty.
Any change in the current system would require a treaty change, agreed
unanimously by all 28 Member States and ratified by each of their national
parliaments. You may find further information on the Strasbourg-Brussels
issue among the European Parliament’s press service FAQ site, where
there is also reference to studies assessing the costs.
Transport is part of the services provided by a travel agency employed by
Parliament. It is also this agency which decides to order the charter
plane(s)/train(s) when needed and takes care of the booking of seats. You
may find more detailed information in the Directorate General for
Finance’s (FINS) Annual Activity reports (see the 2014 copy).
Corporate credit card
In order to facilitate the organisation and management of business trips a
corporate credit card with individual liability was introduced in the
European Parliament via an inter-institutional contract concluded by the
European Commission. This contract, awarded to BCC Corporate, following a
call for tender, launched in conformity with the Financial Regulation's
provisions on public procurement, came into force on 19 November 2015 and
is in line with the new provisions set out in Regulation (EU) No 2015/751
on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions. You will find
BCC’s general conditions for corporate cards online on the company’s
The Joint Sickness Insurance System (JSIS) is managed by the European
Commission. All members of staff of the European Union’s institutions pay
a contribution into the system. This contribution is deducted directly
from their salary. As the system is managed by the European Commission,
Parliament’s services have only limited access to the management
application. It is not possible to extract data for officials and agents
of the European Parliament separately. It is furthermore not possible to
identify the costs for the different items you are referring to. Data
concern all insured persons, i.e. officials, other staff and pensioners of
all the institutions, organs and agencies of the European Union, as well
as their dependants, e.g. family members, covered by the insurance,
totalling some 156,000 insured. You may find more information on the
JSIS public website.
Information on organisational issues
The Historical Archives is the official record keeper of the European
Parliament. It manages and preserves the Parliament's official public
documents and other archival fonds, dating back to 1952. It also assists
researchers on the history of the Parliament and European integration,
publishes studies and articles on these subjects, and works closely with
the EU Historical Archives at the European University Institute and the
House of European History. You may find more information about its
holdings on the Historical Archives website.
The Historical Archives, based in Luxembourg, manage about 1,400,000
archival items, i.e. about 5,000,000 documents in all official languages
of the European Union. You may find more information about the archives’
tectonics in the Historical Archives Annual Report and in their online
database. Since their creation the Historical Archives have accepted all
records that have been offered to them.
The EP art collection was started in 1980 on the initiative of Simone
Veil, the first President of the directly elected Parliament. Over the
years, the European Parliament has acquired numerous works of European art
from all EU Member States. The collection currently consists of over 600
paintings, sculptures and other works from all EU Member States and third
countries, including works donated or on loan from national parliaments
and other institutions. The works of art are displayed at the European
Parliament’s three places of work in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.
Parliament may accept works of art from public bodies in the Member States
and from national parliaments. Donations from private associations or
individuals may be accepted only in exceptional cases and only where
justified by their symbolic value in terms of European identity and
integration. In addition, donations are accepted by the European
Parliament on the recommendation of the Quaestors. Before making a
recommendation, an artistic committee may seek advice from designated art
experts. On the basis of a formal proposal by the Quaestors, the President
may approve the donation or acquisition proposed.
For further information on the collection or particular works of art,
please see the FAQs page on Parliament’s website. The brochure you
were requesting is out of print. The database listing the items of the
European Parliament’s art collection and all available information about
them is available on Parliament’s website.
A quiet room (meditation room) is available in each of the three places of
work: Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg (during part-sessions). The
rooms are open on working days from 7.30 to 20.00. The administration of
the rooms lies with the Directorate General for Infrastructure and
Logistics (INLO). There is no specific budget attached to these rooms.
They are managed within the global management of all Parliament buildings.
You may find further information on DG INLO’s activities with relevance
for its budget in the 2014 Annual activity report of DG INLO and for
DG INTE (Directorate General for Interpretation and Conferences) you might
find more information in their respective annual report.
The well-being unit, or correctly the Risk Prevention and Well-being at
Work Unit, is one of the administrative unit’s in the Directorate General
for Personnel. It sets up and implements Parliament’s policy for
prevention, well-being, and health and safety at work on the basis of
European and national legislation and internal rules and decisions. It
supports the Parliament’s administration in the implementation aspects of
European legislation and advocates best practices in these areas. The unit
is also responsible for monitoring physical aspects of reasonable
accommodation of the working environment and the physical accessibility of
Parliament, and for organising the provision of support tools for people
with disability. There is no specific budget line for the work of the
unit. The unit has no responsibility for the quiet rooms.
Information on internal rules and regulations
Parliament’s Advisory Committee dealing with harassment complaints between
Accredited Parliamentary Assistants and Members of the European Parliament
and its prevention at the workplace set up in 2014 has not published
annual reports nor aggregated summaries of the cases reviewed.
Political Group meetings
Each political group is responsible for its own organisation. Documents of
political groups, such as agendas, minutes and position papers are not
considered as Parliament's documents. In this respect, Parliament's Rules
of Procedure (paragraph 2 of Article 116) provide: 'Documents drawn up by
individual Members or political groups are Parliament documents for the
purposes of access to documents if they are tabled under the Rules of
Procedure'. Thus Parliament has no documents about meetings of the
Political Groups outside Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Their
meetings take place during the so-called-group weeks, which you may
identify in Parliament’s calendar of activities (marked in mauve). You may
find the calendars in pdf format on Parliament’s website in the right
column, by scrolling downwards.
Parliament’s Administrative Work Programme
An Administrative Work Programme (AWP) had been established to enable MEPs
and EP staff to get a better idea and overview of the different process
and service improvements planned and implemented. It was the first
programming document which brought together the different projects and
change activities that Directorates General undertake or plan. The AWP was
discontinued in 2015. You may find further information on strategic
planning in the European Parliament’s administration on the Secretary
Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value
The directorate was created to enhance the European Parliament's capacity
to undertake scrutiny and oversight of the executive, particularly through
ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of EU legislation - before and after it is
adopted by the Union's institutions - and to analyse the need for, or
effectiveness of, action at European level. This work is designed to
support parliamentary committees in the successive stages of the policy
cycle - whether in respect of forward planning and agenda-setting, in the
process of adopting legislation, or in the implementation or evaluation of
legislation once adopted. It therefore contributes to the Parliament's
influence on policy development, as well as to improving the overall
quality of the law-making process.
Work in the fields of Impact Assessment and European Added Value is
undertaken by small specialist teams of policy analysts and information
specialists, who may draw, where necessary on outside expertise.
The directorate is part of Parliament’s Directorate General for
Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) and its reports are published as
parts of the EPRS reports. EPRS published its (bi‑) annual report
recently. You may find it online on Parliament’s website.
The Parliament’s Directorate General for Personnel publishes the staff
magazine 'Newshound' or 'Petit rapporteur'. The magazine is an online
publication taking the form of a blog, i.e. its contents change
dynamically. It is thus not possible to identify copies as in the case of
Parliament’s Former Members Association
As the Former Members’ Association is a Belgian 'Association sans but
lucratif' (non-profit association) its annual reports (including the
annual accounts) are public.and published every year on the 'Moniteur
Belge'. Please note that the accounts are open to free public consultation
at the 'Greffe du tribunal de Bruxelles' at 148, Boulevard de la IIème
Armée Britanique at 1190-Brussels.
Information is also available on the association’s official website or
on the online version of the 'Moniteur belge' by entering the
enterprise number: '475.879.624'.
We thank you for your interest in the work of the European Parliament.
Citizens' Enquiries Unit
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