On 6 May 2003 the PES Group welcomed 55 observers from 9 of the 10 future EU member states.
On 7 May, the President and Vice-President of the PES Group Enrique Baron Crespo (Spain) and Gary Titley (UK) welcomed the 55 observers and highlighted that the Socialist Group was the first to call for new Member States to have the possibility to participate in the 2004 European Elections.
In total, 162 observers will be able to familiarize themselves with the Parliament's work until the next parliamentary elections in June 2004. The number of observers per country is as follows: Cyprus – 6, Estonia – 6, Hungary – 24, Latvia – 9, Lithuania – 13, Malta – 5, Poland – 54, Czech Republic – 24, Slovakia – 14, Slovenia – 7.
During plenary sessions, the observer MEPs will have seats in the Parliamentary Chamber but will not have the right to speak, vote or be elected to positions of responsibility. In committee, observers will have the right to speak, but not the right to vote nor to be elected to any positions of responsibility.
Source: Willy Brandt Enlargement Team