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December 15, 2010

Important and yet invisible work of Members of the European Parliament is performed in committees working in various specialized fields. MEPs are distributed to work to committees according to their experience and expertise.

There are currently twenty standing committees in the European Parliament carrying preparatory work for plenary sessions. During sessions of these committees MEPs vote on legislative proposals and own-initiative reports; prepare and submit amendments on the European Commission and Council proposals and prepare reports that are submitted during plenary sessions.

Leonidas Donskis who is a member of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group works in the Committee on Development and the Subcommittee on Human Rights. He is also a substitute member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Mr. Leonidas Donskis is the ALDE coordinator for the Subcommittee on Human Rights.

In order to project opinions of all political groups and to avoid the only position of the political group to which the main rapporteur belongs shadow rapporteurs are being assigned by all political groups. Their tasks include representing position of his or her political group, proposing amendments and combining them with the document being prepared by the main rapporteur. It is also responsibility of a shadow rapporteur to put up proposals on voting for draft reports to colleagues of the political group. Political group appoints its member who is recognized as competent in a particular field, has earned the trust and respect from colleagues and knows his group`s attitudes and goals. Shadow rapporteur consults colleagues of the political group working in same committees during preparatory meetings where shadow rapporteur provides his or her suggestions and comments.
As a member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights Leonidas Donskis has worked as ALDE shadow rapporteur while preparing the EP annual report on human rights in the world and the EU policy in this area which is one of the key instruments in shaping the EU policy on human rights issues. The main rapporteur of this document was Lithuanian MEP Laima Andrikienė.

Work in the Committee on Development as the shadow rapporteur on the EP position on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals progress is among the most important tasks of Leonidas Donskis. Mr. Donskis also worked as the ALDE shadow rapporteur on the preparation of the draft recommendation to the Council on the capacity of the EU response units.

Document is usually drafted not only by the committee appointed. Few more committees are usually involved by discussing the project provided by the main speaker and forming their own opinion. This opinion has to be integrated into the main document prepared by the rapporteur. Responsible rapporteurs are usually appointed while opinion of the committee is drafted. The rapporteur serves as a draftsman together with few opinion rapporteurs from different political groups.

Leonidas Donskis has previously worked as the ALDE shadow rapporteur while drafting the Committee on Development position on the EP resolution on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements as well as the EP position on resolution on the GDP and other indicators in the changing world.

Each member of the European Parliament also has the right to propose amendments for draft documents in committees other than he or she works in. Leonidas Donskis exercised that right by providing suggestions for amendments for the Committee`s on Industry, Research and Energy opinion on the European Commission document on the new European energy strategy for 2011-2020. As a substitute member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Mr. Donskis has also put forward proposals for the report on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security enhancement of the European Union.

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What do you think?
Which of the activities of L. Donskis at the European Parliament proved to be the most effective?
Activities in the field of human rights
Work with Eastern Partnership and post-Soviet countries
Support of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU

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