EP instruments, sources, and resources

The European Parliament, on the basis of the principle of transparency, provides citizens with access to a wide range of materials, documents, infographics, legal resources, studies, videos, and more to document and disseminate its work

1. Introduction

1.1. The competences of the European Parliament

To summarise what has been illustrated so far, the EP has competence in three fields: legislation, supervision, and budget.

The EP provides extensive information on each area to be used for research, analysis, study, but also for teaching.

This module shows how to study the development of a EUropean law proposal, how EU institutions can monitor its implementation, the resources available, etc..

Legislative competence

The EP's legislative function follows 4 main procedures: the Ordinary legislative procedure (COD); the Consent procedure (special legislative procedure-APP); the Consultation procedure (special legislative procedure-CNS); and the Legislative initiative procedure (INI). 

As seen in the previous modules, the Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) is the EU's main decision-making procedure, whereby the EP is co-legislator with the Council. In some cases, as prescribed by the treaties, special legislative procedures of consultation and consent apply - for example, the APP is necessary to approve new legislative acts against discrimination, such as the "horizontal directive".

We saw that initiative is up to the European Commission only. However, with the INI, the Parliament can ask the Commission to present a law proposal on a relevant topic by approving by majority an own-initiative report.  

The supervision competence

The EP has several supervision and monitoring powers over other institutions, budget expenditure, and the correct implementation of norms. 
The EP ensures the democratic control of the Commission, that regularly reports to the Parliament, including with the annual report on the EU activity and budget. The designation of the President of the Commission by the Member States must take into account the outcome of the European elections, while appointed commissioners are expected t introduce themselves with a hearing in Parliament.

The budgetary procedure

The EP shares with the Council the power to decide on the EU's annual budget.

The budget competence is exercised by setting the amount and distribution of the EU's annual expenditure and the necessary coverage as well as by monitoring the budget. The budgetary procedure includes drafting and adopting the budget. Finally, the Parliament must approve the multiannual financial framework