Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
8th parliamentary term - September 2016


Rule 130 : Questions for written answer

1.   Any Member may put questions for written answer to the President of the European Council, the Council, the Commission or the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in accordance with criteria laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure(1). The content of questions shall be the sole responsibility of their authors.

2.   Questions shall be submitted to the President. Doubts concerning the admissibility of a question shall be settled by the President. The President's decision shall be based not exclusively on the provisions of the annex referred to in paragraph 1 but on the provisions of these Rules of Procedure in general. The questioner shall be notified of the President's decision.

3.   Questions shall be submitted in electronic format. Each Member may submit a maximum of five questions per month.

By way of exception, additional questions may be submitted in the form of a paper document tabled and signed personally by the Member concerned in the relevant service of the Secretariat.

After a period expiring one year from the beginning of the eighth parliamentary term, the Conference of Presidents shall carry out an assessment of the regime in respect of additional questions.

The expression "by way of exception" is to be interpreted as meaning that the additional question concerns a matter of urgency and that the submission of that question cannot wait until the following month. Furthermore, the number of questions tabled under the second subparagraph of paragraph 3 must be smaller than the norm of five questions per month.

4.   If a question cannot be answered within the time limit set it shall, at the request of the author, be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the committee responsible. Rule 129 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Since the chair of a committee is empowered by Rule 206(1) to convene a meeting of that committee, it is up to him, in the interest of the proper organisation of proceedings, to determine the draft agenda of the meeting he has convened. This prerogative is without prejudice to his obligation under Rule 130(4) to place a written question, at the request of its author, on the draft agenda for the next meeting of the committee. However, the chair has the discretionary power to propose, in the light of political priorities, the agenda and procedural arrangements for the meeting (e.g. a procedure without debate, possibly with the adoption of a decision on action to be taken, or, where appropriate, a recommendation to carry over the item to a subsequent meeting).

5.   Questions which require an immediate answer but not detailed research (priority questions) shall be answered within three weeks of being forwarded to the addressees. Each Member may table one priority question each month.

Other questions (non-priority questions) shall be answered within six weeks of being forwarded to the addressees.

6.   Questions and answers shall be published on Parliament’s website.

(1)See Annex III.
Last updated: 19 October 2016Legal notice