Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
10th parliamentary term - July 2024
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Rule 215 : Committees of inquiry

1.   In accordance with Article 226 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 2 of Decision 95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission (1), Parliament may, at the request of one quarter of its component Members, set up a committee of inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions or maladministration in implementation of Union law which would appear to be the act of an institution or body of the European Union, of a public administrative body of a Member State, or of persons empowered by Union law to implement that law.

The subject of the inquiry, as defined by one quarter of Parliament's component Members, and the period laid down in paragraph 11 shall not be open to amendments.

2.   The decision to set up a committee of inquiry shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union within one month of being taken.

3.   The modus operandi of a committee of inquiry shall be governed by the provisions of the Rules relating to committees, save as otherwise specifically provided for in this Rule and in Decision 95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC.

4.   The request to set up a committee of inquiry must precisely specify the subject of the inquiry and include a detailed statement of the grounds for it. Parliament, on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, shall decide whether to set up a committee and, if so, its numerical strength.

5.   Committees of inquiry shall not have the right to deliver opinions to other committees.

6.   At any stage of its proceedings, only full members or, in their absence, substitutes may vote in a committee of inquiry.

7.   A committee of inquiry shall elect its Chair and Vice-Chairs and appoint one or more rapporteurs. The committee may also assign responsibilities, duties or specific tasks to its members who must subsequently report to the committee in detail thereon.

8.   In the interval between one meeting and another, the coordinators of the committee shall, in cases of urgency or need, exercise the committee's powers, subject to ratification by that committee at its next meeting.

9.   With regard to the languages used, a committee of inquiry shall apply the provisions of Rule 174. However, the bureau of the committee:

–   may restrict interpretation to the official languages of those members of the committee taking part in the deliberations, if it deems this to be necessary for reasons of confidentiality,

–   shall decide about the translation of the documents received in such a way as to ensure that the committee can carry out its deliberations efficiently and rapidly, as well as to ensure that the necessary secrecy and confidentiality are respected.

10.   Requests for documents and for witnesses to provide testimony, in accordance with Decision 95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC shall be formally made by the President at the request of the committee of inquiry. Rule 127 shall apply in the case of a refusal of a request for documents or for a witness to provide testimony without sufficient justification.

Committees of inquiry may, in accordance with Decision 95/167/EC Euratom, ECSC and with these Rules of Procedure:

–   organise fact-finding missions to Member States;

–   request documents and expert reports;

–   invite witnesses;

–   hear officials and other servants of the Union or of Member States;

–   request national authorities for assistance in the course of its investigations;

–   request the parliaments of the Member State concerned to cooperate in the investigation.

The President may invite the witnesses to testify under oath. No one shall be obliged to testify under oath, but formal note shall be taken where a witness declines to testify under oath.

11.   A committee of inquiry shall conclude its work by presenting to Parliament a report on the results of its work within no more than 12 months from its constitutive meeting. Parliament may twice decide to extend this period by three months. The report may, if appropriate, contain minority positions in accordance with the conditions laid down in Rule 56. The report shall be published.

At the request of the committee of inquiry, Parliament shall hold a debate on the report at the part- session following its submission.

12.   The committee may also submit to Parliament a draft recommendation addressed to institutions or bodies of the European Union or to the Member States.

13.   The President shall instruct the committee responsible under Annex VI to monitor the action taken on the results of the work of the committee of inquiry and, if appropriate, to report thereon. The President shall take any further steps which are deemed to be appropriate in order to ensure that the conclusions of the inquiry are acted upon in practice.

(1) Decision 95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 19 April 1995 on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament's right of inquiry (OJ L 113, 19.5.1995, p. 1, ELI:
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