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Briefing 
 

New special committees, a permanent subcommittee and a committee of inquiry 

On Thursday, the plenary will vote on the setting up of three special committees, a permanent subcommittee, and on Friday a committee of inquiry.

The proposal, as put forward by the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents, sees special committees established on beating cancer, on foreign interference in all democratic processes in the EU, including disinformation, and on artificial intelligence and the digital transformation. It also calls for a permanent subcommittee on tax matters to be established under the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and a committee of inquiry on animal transport.


Background


The term of office of a special committee may not exceed twelve months, except where Parliament extends that term on its expiry. A committee of inquiry’s term of office is also twelve months and can be extended twice by three-month periods. The term of office of a subcommittee is open-ended. Special committees, committees of inquiry and subcommittees cannot adopt legislative texts.


The responsibilities, numerical strength and term of office of special committees are decided by plenary when these committees are set up.


Subcommittees may be established either when their related standing committee is created or at the request of an already established standing committee, in the interests of the latter’s work and subject to prior authorisation by the Conference of Presidents. The area of responsibility of the subcommittee is clearly defined, in this case by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, when first requesting its establishment.


A committee of inquiry investigates alleged breaches or maladministration in the implementation of EU law.


So far, no special committee or sub-committee has been set up during Parliament’s 9th term. Two already existing sub-committees of the Foreign Affairs committee deal with Security and Defence (SEDE) and Human Rights (DROI) on a permanent basis.

Procedure: Vote on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents

Vote: Thursday 18 June and Friday 19 June (Inquiry committee)