Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Texte de la question :
« Pursuant to Article 138 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, Members, political groups and parliamentary committees have the right to submit questions for written answer to the Commission, the President of the European Council, the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union.
Questions for written answer are an instrument that enables Parliament to obtain the additional information it needs to carry out its legislative functions, as well as to properly perform the functions of supervision and control on behalf of voters from the countries of the European Union.
There can be no talk of a functioning democracy without transparent procedures, accountability and well-functioning institutions.
Unfortunately, the procedure for answering questions is not transparent. In addition, the answers are too often vague or evasive. As a result, they do not receive specific answers or information on matters of interest to them, which makes this instrument of parliamentary oversight illusory.
In connection with the above, would the Commission answer the following questions:
1. What are the formal procedures for replying to the questions referred to in Article 138 of the Rules of Procedure?
2. Who are the actual authors of draft answers?
3. Does the Commission intend to amend the procedure for replying to Parliament’s questions so as to provide timely and comprehensive responses? »
Réponse donné par Mr. le Vice-Président Šefčovič au nom de la Commission européenne, le 26 novembre 2020 :
« Parliamentary questions are an integral part of the Commission’s special partnership with the European Parliament(1) and an important political scrutiny tool to which the Commission attaches utmost importance.
As part of its interinstitutional obligations, the Commission is committed to providing timely and pertinent replies to parliamentary questions(2). The answers are given by the responsible Member of the College, on behalf of the Commission, and after validation by the College of Commissioners.
Each draft reply is subject to inter-service consultation to integrate additional expertise, then it is complemented and approved by the responsible College Member(s).
The final reply is validated by the entire College of Commissioners. Once the reply has been approved by the College, it is translated into the language of the Honourable Member(s) author(s) of the question, and sent to the European Parliament(3).
The Commission is constantly working to improve and rationalise the management of parliamentary questions, respect the deadlines and provide qualitative replies, so as to honour its obligations vis-à-vis the European Parliament and to meet in a transparent way the citizens’ needs for high-quality and pertinent information. »
(1) See ‘Political Guidelines for the Next European Commission 2019-2024’: ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/political-guidelines-next-commission_en.pdf
(2) The deadlines for replies to parliamentary questions were defined unilaterally by the European Parliament in its Rules of Procedure and thus they are not legally binding for the Commission.
(3) During the current mandate, between 1 December 2019 and 30 September 2020 the Commission received 5 459 parliamentary questions and transmitted 4 118 replies to the European Parliament.
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