you're reading...
Institutional and Legal Affairs, PUBLICATIONS

Additional hearings for Commissioners-designate

Written by Eva-Maria Poptcheva

A debate has been launched as to whether additional parliamentary hearings for Commissioners-designate – beyond the initial scheduled three hours – have any legal basis. The subject was raised when Jonathan Hill was called back for an additional hearing after Members of the Economic Affairs Committee registered their dissatisfaction with the answers he gave in his original hearing on 1 October.

Additional hearings for Commissioners-designate

European Parliament

Additional hearings are not explicitly included in Parliament’s Rules of Procedure but they are not excluded either. Rather, the Rules of Procedures provide for the possibility of the committee(s) responsible for the evaluation of the Commissioner-designate in question seeking ‘further information’ after the hearing, in order to complete their evaluation (Annex VI, section 1 c) of the Rules of Procedure). With the consent of the Commission President-elect, this could include an additional exchange of views with the Commissioner-designate.

An additional, informal exchange of views with the Commissioner-designate could form part of the evaluation process, rather than of the hearing proper. Since this evaluation, by the political groups’ coordinators on the committee(s) responsible, takes place in camera, such additional ‘hearings’ of Commissioners-designate would also be held in private, in order to facilitate a frank exchange of views. In any case, the evaluation letter from the committees responsible would refer to both the formal hearing and the additional informal exchange of views with the Commissioner-designate.

Alternatively, an additional, formal public hearing could be held, not as part of the evaluation process, but as a means for the parliamentary committee(s) to gain further information. Only after obtaining this would they be able to start their evaluation of the Commissioner-designate.

The second hearing of Jonathan Hill, Commissioner-designate for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, on 7 October, is not the first of its kind in the history of the parliamentary confirmation hearings, although it is the first to be held in public. In 2010, the Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes attended, five days after the official hearing and after she had replied to a second round of written questions (as indeed had Hill), an additional ‘hearing’ in private with the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Culture and Education.

Read more: #EPHearings2014: Meet the Commissioners-designate!

Discussion

One thought on “Additional hearings for Commissioners-designate

  1. Reblogged this on Central Library and commented:
    Who better to explain the intricacies of Commissioner Hearings than the European Parliament Research Service:

    Like

    Posted by gsclibrary | October 8, 2014, 09:48

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

EU’s refugee crisis
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,258 other followers

RSS Link to Members’ Research Service

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved

%d bloggers like this: