18 new MEPs to arrive in dec 2011

Remember the lisbon treaty? On of its effect was to gain new meps. It took a while, but with the vote of Belgium's Joint Community Commission, the process of ratifying the protocol allowing 18 additional Members to join the European Parliament has been successfully completed.

The 27 national ratification procedures started on September 2010, following a decision by national governments in June 2010 to adopt a proposal modifying the EP composition.

All ratified protocols have now to be brought together in Rome, where the treaty change was signed, as final step. Once this is done, the 18 will be able to start working as fully-fledged MEPs from the first day of the following month. For example, if the protocols are all in Rome by end of November, new Members can take up their duties on 1 December.