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European Council President agrees to submit to MEPs questions


03 Feb 2011


EU Priorities 2020

Andrew Duff  (LibDem, UK) has welcomed today the decision of Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, to answer written questions from MEPs.

Mr Duff had tabled a written question to Mr Van Rompuy in December 2009 at the time of the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty. At that stage, the procedure was blocked by the Council presidency.

Yesterday, however, Mr Van Rompuy wrote to the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, stating his agreement, after all, to answer tabled parliamentary questions about his 'own political activities'.

Andrew Duff said: "Mr Van Rompuy's decision to overrule the Council's legal services is welcome. It increases transparency and boosts the personal credibility of the President of the European Council.

"I note that Mr Van Rompuy insists that he is not accountable to the European Parliament and that he cannot answer questions about the European Council as an institution. This may lead to some strange answers.

"But Mr Van Rompuy clearly recognises the importance of Parliament as an institution, and that there is a risk of a democratic problem if the European Council operates in obscurity. This is a small but significant step forward."


Editors' Note: Andrew Duff represented the European Parliament in the drafting of the Treaty of Lisbon.

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