Treaty of Amsterdam/Article 3
The Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community shall be amended in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
1. In Article 10(2) the first and second subparagraphs shall be replaced by the following:
‘2. The governments of the Member States shall nominate by common accord the person they intend to appoint as President of the Commission; the nomination shall be approved by the European Parliament.
The governments of the Member States shall, by common accord with the nominee for President, nominate the other persons whom they intend to appoint as Members of the Commission.’
2. In Article 13, the following paragraph shall be inserted as the first paragraph:
‘The Commission shall work under the political guidance of its President.’
3. In Article 20, the following paragraph shall be added:
‘The number of Members of the European Parliament shall not exceed seven hundred.’
4. Article 21 shall be amended as follows:
(a) in paragraph 3, the first subparagraph shall be replaced by the following:
‘3. The European Parliament shall draw up a proposal for elections by direct universal suffrage in accordance with a uniform procedure in all Member States or in accordance with principles common to all Member States.’;
(b) the following paragraph shall be added:
‘4. The European Parliament shall, after seeking an opinion from the Commission and with the approval of the Council acting unanimously, lay down the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the duties of its Members.’
5. Article 30 shall be replaced by the following:
1. A committee consisting of the Permanent Representatives of the Member States shall be responsible for preparing the work of the Council and for carrying out the tasks assigned to it by the Council. The Committee may adopt procedural decisions in cases provided for in the Council's Rules of Procedure.
2. The Council shall be assisted by a General Secretariat, under the responsibility of a Secretary-General, High Representative for the common foreign and security policy, who shall be assisted by a Deputy Secretary-General responsible for the running of the General Secretariat. The Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General shall be appointed by the Council acting unanimously.
The Council shall decide on the organisation of the General Secretariat.
3. The Council shall adopt its Rules of Procedure.’
6. In Article 33, the fourth paragraph shall be replaced by the following:
‘The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction under the same conditions in actions brought by the European Parliament and by the Court of Auditors for the purpose of protecting their prerogatives.’
7. Article 45c shall be amended as follows:
(a) The second subparagraph of paragraph 1 shall be replaced by the following:
‘The Court of Auditors shall provide the European Parliament and the Council with a statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions which shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.’;
(b) The first subparagraph of paragraph 2 shall be replaced by the following:
‘2. The Court of Auditors shall examine whether all revenue has been received and all expenditure incurred in a lawful and regular manner and whether the financial management has been sound. In doing so, it shall report in particular on any cases of irregularity.’;
(c) Paragraph 3 shall be replaced by the following:
‘3. The audit shall be based on records and, if necessary, performed on the spot in the other institutions of the Community, on the premises of any body which manages revenue or expenditure on behalf of the Community and in the Member States, including on the premises of any natural or legal person in receipt of payments from the budget. In the Member States the audit shall be carried out in liaison with national audit bodies or, if these do not have the necessary powers, with the competent national departments. The Court of Auditors and the national audit bodies of the Member States shall cooperate in a spirit of trust while maintaining their independence. These bodies or departments shall inform the Court of Auditors whether they intend to take part in the audit.
The other institutions of the Community, any bodies managing revenue or expenditure on behalf of the Community, any natural or legal person in receipt of payments from the budget, and the national audit bodies or, if these do not have the necessary powers, the competent national departments, shall forward to the Court of Auditors, at its request, any document or information necessary to carry out its task.
In respect of the European Investment Bank's activity in managing Community expenditure and revenue, the Court's rights of access to information held by the Bank shall be governed by an agreement between the Court, the Bank and the Commission. In the absence of an agreement, the Court shall nevertheless have access to information necessary for the audit of Community expenditure and revenue managed by the Bank.’
8. In Article 78c, the first paragraph shall be replaced by the following:
‘The Commission shall implement the budget, in accordance with the provisions of the regulations made pursuant to Article 78h, on its own responsibility and within the limits of the appropriations, having regard to the principles of sound financial management. Member States shall cooperate with the Commission to ensure that the appropriations are used in accordance with the principles of sound financial management.’
9. Article 78g(1) shall be replaced by the following:
‘1. The European Parliament, acting on a recommendation from the Council which shall act by a qualified majority, shall give a discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget. To this end, the Council and the European Parliament in turn shall examine the accounts and the financial statement referred to in Article 78d, the annual report by the Court of Auditors together with the replies of the institutions under audit to the observations of the Court of Auditors, the statement of assurance referred to in Article 45c(1), second subparagraph, and any relevant special reports by the Court of Auditors.’
10. The following Article shall be inserted:
1. Where a decision has been taken to suspend the voting rights of the representative of the government of a Member State in accordance with Article F.1(2) of the Treaty on European Union, these voting rights shall also be suspended with regard to this Treaty.
2. Moreover, where the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of principles mentioned in Article F(1) of the Treaty on European Union has been determined in accordance with Article F.1(1) of that Treaty, the Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of this Treaty to the Member State in question. In doing so, the Council shall take into account the possible consequences of such a suspension on the rights and obligations of natural and legal persons.
The obligations of the Member State in question under this Treaty shall in any case continue to be binding on that State.
3. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide subsequently to vary or revoke measures taken in accordance with paragraph 2 in response to changes in the situation which led to their being imposed.
4. When taking decisions referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3, the Council shall act without taking into account the votes of the representative of the government of the Member State in question. By way of derogation from Article 28, fourth paragraph, a qualified majority shall be defined as the same proportion of the weighted votes of the members of the Council concerned as laid down in Article 28, fourth paragraph.
This paragraph shall also apply in the event of voting rights being suspended in accordance with paragraph 1. In such cases, a decision requiring unanimity shall be taken without the vote of the representative of the government of the Member State in question.’