A member of the European Parliament that follows and reports on a particular issue for a parliamentary committee.
Rapporteurships are distributed between the political groups according to a points system based on the size of the group. Every report or potential report is allocated a number of points according to its estimated importance.
The biggest political groups normally get the most interesting reports, but the points system ensures that some interesting issues and reports are allocated to rapporteurs from the smaller groups in the Parliament.
A rapporteur draws up a report to the committee with proposals for changes to the Commission/Council proposal for a legal act. A report can be accompanied by personal statements of the rapporteur. All conclusions and amendments are decided by the majority of the committee.
Occasionally, rapporteurs have resigned or criticized own reports because they objected to having their names on reports that they disagreed with.
A rapporteur often co-operates with the shadow-rapporteurs from the other political groups, possibly also with the co-ordinators from the different political groups that in practice organise the European Parliament's influence under co-decision.
The role of the coordinators, rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs have been inserted in the rules of the Parliament after a proposal from a Reform Working Group. The Reform group finalised its work in a report published in April 2009.