Diana was first appointed Vice President of the European Parliament on 18 January 2007. She is the first Liberal Democrat and the first British female of any political persuasion to be elected to such a post in twenty years. She sits as one of 14 Vice Presidents and 5 Quaestors, on the European Parliament's Bureau, which, chaired by the President of the Parliament takes financial, organisational and administrative decisions concerning the internal running of the institution.
Diana has responsibilities as a Vice President, which include chairing debate and votes in the Plenary (along with the President and the other Vice Presidents) and chairing the Question Time sessions with the European Commission (a responsibility shared with Vice President McMillan Scott). Diana also has specific responsibility for a number of portfolios, listed below.
Transparency and Access to Documents (this includes overseeing the Transparency Unit of the Parliament, the EP library and Citizen mail unit)
Citizen rights and Access to Justice
EP relations with European Law Academy (Trier)
Question Time to the Commission
What is the European Parliament's "Bureau"?
The Bureau is made up of the President of the European Parliament, the Vice-Presidents and the Quaestors, with observer status, elected by the assembly for a renewable period of two and a half years. The Bureau is the body that lays down rules for Parliament. It draws up Parliament's preliminary draft budget and decides all administrative, staff and organisational matters. The Bureau generally meets twice a month.
Diana has on her own initiative set up an inter-institutional network for high ranking female players on the EU scene, which meets regularly to dicuss gender perspectives and the representation of women inside the institutions. They successfully pressured the Commission into appointing 8 female Commissioners in 2010, as opposed to the initial 3 proposed.
She has also set up the Parliament's first MEP book club, along with the Chair of the Culture Committee Doris Pack. European authors are regularly invited to attend the EP to discuss their works.
Diana belongs to the Friends of Bosnia & Herzegovina Intergroup, and seeks to encourage and cultivate strong inter -institutional relationships with the region.
Diana's role as Vice President with responsibility for Transparency has led her to get involved in all levels of reform for the European Parliament. Diana campaigns internally to the Parliament for maximum openess and accountability to the EU public. Most recently she sat on the working group chaired by the President that put together a Code of Conduct for MEPs. This will be implemented as of 1st January 2012. Diana also sits on the working group that has been set up to improve the visibility and effectiveness of the plenary sessions, chaired by MEP Johannes Swoboda. Diana's input has led to a reform of Question Time to the Commission, to Manuel Barroso, head of the Commission, and to Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the EU. The sessions that Diana chairs are now more spontaneous and interactive, allowing MEPs to better hold the Commission to account. These sessions are always (except for exceptional circumstances) held on a Tuesday morning in Strasbourg.
Diana also sits on the EP working group set up by the Conference of Presidents to negotiate working arrangements for inter-institutional issues with the Council (this includes important issues such as first reading agreements, correlation tables or the handling of confidential documents).
Between October 2007 and December 2008, Diana Wallis represented her political group in the high-level task force set up to make the Parliament fit for purpose in 2009 and beyond. The task force first examined the running of plenary, then went on to look at inter-institutional relations and better law-making, and finally proposed a fundamental reform of Parliament's committees and external activities.