More than 180 Members of the European Parliament have written to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressing their concerns about the lack of detail and the low standard of the Commission’s written answers provided to the Parliament.
“Written parliamentary questions to the European Commission are an essential tool allowing Members of European Parliament to scrutinise the work of the European Commission,” the letter, penned by Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld (Liberals) says.
The Commission’s answers “are evasive or incomplete, void of substance, not responding to every (sub-)question, and deliberately vague and general. Frequently, the deadlines for responding are not met,” the parlamentarians argue. This, they insisted, is not in line with the principle of mutual sincere cooperation between the institutions, nor with the EU treaties stipulating that the EC is accountable to the European Parliament. The MEPs stressed that such reply hamper democractic scrutiny.
In conclusion, the MEPs, added that high quality written questions and answers will not only allow for better parliamentary scrutiny but also respond to citizen’s expectations of the EU institutions as transparent bodies who value the general interest of EU citizens.
In the first 18 months of the ninth term of the European Parliament (July 2019-December 2020) a total of 9,716 PQs were tabled.
Maltese Labour MEPs (S&D) Alex Agius Saliba, Alfred Sant and Cyrus Engerer are among the signatories of the letter.