Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-368"

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"Mr President, today’s debate raises the issue of unequal treatment of Polish Members of the European Parliament and Members of the Sejm as regards election criteria, as well as that of loss of mandate. In Article 9 of the Act of 23 January 2004 concerning the electoral ordinance for the European Parliament, we see that the right to stand for election to this institution is given to persons who, among other criteria, have not been convicted of a deliberate crime or charged by the public prosecution service, and Article 142 states that one’s mandate can be withdrawn as a result, for example, of the member’s election to the European Parliament being invalidated. This means that the conviction of a Member (this refers to a Member of the European Parliament, as has been mentioned earlier) for a crime committed deliberately is equivalent to their automatically losing their mandate, while for members to the national parliament this does not act as an obstacle to them standing for election, nor does it result in the loss of their mandate. As regards the privileges of Members of the European Parliament, Rule 5(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament states that ‘Members shall enjoy privileges and immunities in accordance with the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities’. In the Preamble, the Protocol states that it regulates the issue of privileges and immunities that are necessary to carry out responsibilities for the European Communities, and, in Article 10(a), states that, during the sessions of the Assembly, ‘in the territory of their own State, its members shall enjoy the immunities accorded to members of their Parliament’. Members of the Polish Parliament and the European Parliament are protected by the same immunity. According to Article 11, ‘Representatives of Member States taking part in the work of the institutions of the Communities, their advisers and technical experts shall, in the performance of their duties and during their travel to and from the place of meeting, enjoy the customary privileges, immunities and facilities’. There is no doubt that a Member of the European Parliament is a representative of a Member State who is taking part in the work of the institutions of the Union. Since Members of the European Parliament and of the Polish Parliament should benefit from the same immunities and privileges, then the rules as regards their eligibility to stand for election as well as for loss of mandate should also be the same. In acceding to the European Union Poland assumed a responsibility to respect laws in force in the EU, especially those laws having a direct impact on the internal legal system in Member States. I would encourage the fastest possible standardisation in legislation relating to the status of Members of the Polish Parliament and Members of the European Parliament in Poland, and I fully agree with the view taken by Commissioner Frattini in this regard."@en1

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