Press release – Parliament sets up special and inquiry committees and a permanent subcommittee

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Following a proposal by the Conference of Presidents (president and chairs of political groups), plenary set out the responsibilities, numerical strength and term of office of the new bodies. Lists of members will be announced in a subsequent plenary session.

Tax subcommittee

After a series of special committees and a committee of inquiry, created to delve into the various tax leaks and scandals of recent years, Parliament today established a more permanent setup to shed light on the matter.

The subcommittee on tax matters will be composed of 30 members. It will deal particularly with the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, as well as financial transparency for taxation purposes.

All details on the committee’s competences are available here (click on Thursday 18 June). The vote to establish the subcommittee was carried 613 in favour, 67 against and 8 abstentions.

There are currently two other subcommittees, that of Human Rights and that of Security and Defence, both under the EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Special committees

Parliament can create special committees to deal with specific topics. The special committees set up today all have a 12-month term, which can potentially be extended. They are each composed of 33 MEPs.

The special committee on beating cancer is specifically tasked with evaluating opportunities for the EU to take concrete action, identifying legislation and other measures that can help prevent and fight cancer, and looking into the best ways to support research, among others. All details on the committee’s competences are available here (click on Thursday 18 June). 651 MEPs voted for the committee to be set up, 28 were against, while 8 abstained.

The special committee on foreign interference in all democratic processes in the EU, including disinformation is, among others, tasked with thoroughly analysing the investigations that showed that crucial electoral rules were breached or circumvented.

It will have to identify possible areas that would require legislative and non-legislative actions vis-à-vis social media platforms, to suggest coordinated action at EU level for tackling hybrid threats, and to counter information campaigns and strategic communication of malign third countries that harm the EU. Further details on the committee’s competences are available here (click on Thursday 18 June). 548 MEPs voted for the committee to be set up, 83 were against, while 56 abstained.

The special committee on artificial intelligence will study the impact and challenges of rolling out AI, and propose a roadmap with objectives for the EU in the field of AI and the steps that need to be taken to achieve them. All details on the committee’s competences are available here (click on Thursday 18 June). 574 MEPs voted for the committee to be set up, 41 were against, while 72 abstained.

Committee of inquiry

The committee of inquiry on alleged contraventions and maladministration in animal transport will primarily investigate the alleged failure of the Commission and of member states to effectively enforce numerous EU rules related to animal transport within the EU and beyond its borders. Further information on the committee’s competences is available in a separate press release and the precise subject of inquiry is available here. 605 MEPs voted for the committee to be set up, 53 were against, while 31 abstained.

Background

According to Parliament’s rules of procedures, the term of office of a special committee (Rule 207) may not exceed twelve months, except where Parliament extends that term on its expiry. A committee of inquiry’s term (Rule 208) of office is also twelve months and can be extended twice by three-month periods. The term of office of a subcommittee (Rule 212) is open-ended. Special committees, committees of inquiry and subcommittees cannot adopt legislative texts.

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.

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

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