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Council of the European Union
European Parliament's Right of inquiry: "profoundly problematic" say Council
14.12.15


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament's right of inquiry replacing the Decision of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 19 April 1995 (95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC) - Approval of a letter (15173-15, pdf):

"the Council set out many of the issues it considers to be profoundly problematic with regard to the EP proposal. The Council is unanimous in its view that these issues are indeed of such gravity that they fall outside the scope of any negotiation." [emphasis added]

The Council is referring to a Letter, dated 30 November 2015 from Ms Danuta Hubner, Chair of the AFCO (Committee on Constitutional Affairs in the European Parliament): Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament's right of inquiry replacing the Decision of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 19 April 1995 (95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC) (LIMITE doc no: 14802-15, pdf): Extraordinarily the Council has classified the Letter as "LIMITE", meaning that it is not publicly accessible:

"Delegations will find attached a letter dated 30 November 2015 from Ms Danuta HÜBNER, Chair of the AFCO Committee in the European Parliament, addressed to Mr Nicolas SCHMIT, Minister of Labour Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, President in Office of the Council...."

This document contains the "Second Working Document" dated 17.11.15 which in turns refers to an earlier Working Document dated 9.1.15 (pdf).

The Committee's Working Documents are based on ensuring that the Martin report (dated 14.10.11, pdf) from the AFCO and its Adoption: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament's right of inquiry and repealing Decision 95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission (dated: 23 May 2012) The mandate to get the agreement of the Council and the Commission for a Regulation is in: European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 April 2014.

This initiative to increase the scrutiny powers of the parliament run contrary to the direction on the "deal" done by the Presidents of the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament to introduce so-called "better lawmaking": Proposal for an Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Regulation - Political agreement (LIMITE doc no: 15007-15, pdf)

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