Sunday, 22 February 2009

European Parliament: Quaestors

After the blog posts on the President of the European Parliament and the fourteen Vice-Presidents, we turn to the five Quaestors (or six until the next Parliament).

The deliberate choice of an ancient Roman title for these EP officers invites us to take a look at what these earlier role models were up to.

The Wikipedia article Quaestor starts by telling us that Quaestor is a type of public official. In the Roman Republic a quaestor was an elected official who supervised the treasury and the financial affairs of the state, its armies and its officers.

For more information, go to:


Electing Quaestors

The five Quaestors are elected by secret ballot (Rule 12) for two and a half years (Rule 16), by the same procedure as the Vice-Presidents:

Rule 15 Election of Quaestors

After the election of the Vice-Presidents, Parliament shall elect five Quaestors.

The Quaestors shall be elected by the same procedure as the Vice-Presidents.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the first paragraph, for the period from January 2007 to July 2009 Parliament shall elect six Quaestors.


Duties of Quaestors

The duties of the Quaestors are laid down generally in Rule 25:

Rule 25 Duties of the Quaestors

The Quaestors shall be responsible for administrative and financial matters directly concerning Members, pursuant to guidelines laid down by the Bureau.


Financial interests

The Quaestors keep a record of the MEPs’ declarations of professional activities and financial interests, as laid down in Rule 9(1) and Annex I


Bureau meetings

The Quaestors form part of the Bureau in an advisory capacity, according to Rule 21(2), and thus they participate in the duties of the Bureau, mentioned in Rule 22.


Passes for lobbyists

Under Rule 9(4) and Annex IX the Quaestors issue passes to registered lobbyists.


Members’ questions to Quaestors

MEPs can ask questions of Questors and other officers according to Rule 28(2):

2. Any Member may ask questions related to the work of the Bureau, the Conference of Presidents and the Quaestors. Such questions shall be submitted to the President in writing and published in the Bulletin of Parliament within thirty days of tabling, together with the answers given.


Accessible information?

According to the EP Rules of Procedure, Rule 28(1), the minutes of the Bureau and the Conference of Presidents shall be translated into the official languages, printed and distributed to all Members of Parliament and shall be accessible to the public, unless the Bureau or the Conference of Presidents exceptionally, for reasons of confidentiality, as laid down in Article 4(1) to (4) of European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, decides otherwise with regard to certain items of the minutes.


I am not quite sure about the accessibility of this information. I found a list of members of the Bureau, but failed to find other detailed information such as its minutes. I failed to find other Bureau guidelines to the Quaestors than those mentioned above.

What does the European Parliament mean by accessible to the public?

Ralf Grahn