The so-called "Group of Independent Eminent Persons" presented to the MEPs its report on the statute for Members of the European Parliament. The single statute, which was one of the obligations of the Amsterdam treaty, should bring together current provisions already enshrined into European law (direct universal suffrage, immunity, period of office, independence of Members, etc.) with new uniform rules on allowances, tax arrangements and pensions, reimbursement of expenses, employment of staff and use of technical resources.
One of the most controversial recommendations of the report by the experts is a substantial raise of MEPs' salaries to compensate for a less generous system of expenses and allowances.
In a first reaction, Liberal Group leader Pat Cox welcomes the report and called upon the Council to come to a quick decision on its acceptance. The recommendations were also welcomed by the Greens/EFA Group. Heidi Hautala, Co-President of the Green/EFA Group said: "This report contains valuable recommendations on the problematic question of how to re-organise the remuneration of MEPs. We welcome the principle that corresponds to our longstanding demand: increased transparency and comprehensibility to the public and no concealed remuneration."