Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
9th parliamentary term - January 2023
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Rule 221 : Procedure for the consultation by a committee of confidential information in a committee meeting in camera

1.   When Parliament is under a legal obligation to treat information received as confidential information, the Chair of the committee responsible shall automatically apply the confidential procedure laid down in paragraph 3.

2.   Without prejudice to paragraph 1, in the absence of any legal obligation to treat the information received as confidential information, any committee may apply the confidential procedure laid down in paragraph 3 on its own motion to an item of information or a document indicated by one of its members in a written or oral request. A majority of two-thirds of the members present shall be required for the adoption of a decision to apply the confidential procedure in such a case.

3.   Once the Chair of the committee has declared that the confidential procedure is to be applied, the meeting shall be in camera and may be attended only by members of the committee, including substitute members. The committee may decide, in compliance with the applicable inter-institutional legal framework, that other Members may attend the meeting pursuant to Rule 216(3). The meeting may also be attended by those persons who have been designated in advance by the Chair, as having a need-to-know, in due respect of any restrictions stemming from the applicable rules governing the treatment of confidential information by Parliament. As regards the consultation of classified information at the level of CONFIDENTIEL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL and above, or in case of specific limitations of access stemming from the interinstitutional legal framework, additional restrictions may apply.

The documents shall be distributed at the beginning of the meeting and collected again at the end. They shall be numbered. No notes and no photocopies may be taken.

The minutes of the meeting shall make no mention of the discussion of the item dealt with under the confidential procedure. Only the relevant decision, if any, may be recorded.

4.   Without prejudice to the applicable rules on breach of confidentiality in general, Members or a political group or groups reaching at least the medium threshold in the committee which has applied the confidential procedure may request consideration of a breach of confidentiality. This request may be placed on the agenda of the next committee meeting. By a majority of its members, the committee may decide to submit the matter to the President for further consideration under Rules 10 and 176.

This Rule applies to the extent that the applicable legal framework relating to the treatment of confidential information provides for the possibility of consulting the confidential information at a meeting in camera outside the secure facilities.

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