The Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament (16th edition, October 2008) make the political groups instrumental in many respects. Thus, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) needs his or her political group for effective action.
Here are a few additional examples:
A political group can table amendments, as in Rule 62 on amendments to the Council’s common position.
The delegation to the Conciliation Committee is composed on the basis of the size of the political groups and the members are appointed by the political groups (Rule 64).
A political group can propose a debate with the Commission and the Council before accession negotiations with an applicant state commence (Rule 82).
On the proposal of a political group the European Parliament can ask the Council not to issue a mandate for negotiating an international agreement before the EP has been able to state its position (Rule 83).
A political group can put questions to the Commission or the Council (Rule 108).
Political groups are crucial in allotting speaking time (Rule 142) as well as in procedural matters.