Committee launches inquiry into European scrutiny

25 June 2012

The Committee is to conduct an inquiry into the European Scrutiny system in the House of Commons

In the present Parliament the Committee has published a series of reports on: discrete scrutiny issues, for example reasoned opinions on subsidiarity and opt-in decisions; primary legislation in the form of the European Union Bill; and significant developments at EU level such as the SCG Treaty. It has agreed that it is now time to conduct a broad-ranging inquiry into the scrutiny process.

The Committee invites written submissions which address any of the following matters:

    • the purpose of, and background to, the current scrutiny system in the House of Commons (and how it compares to systems across the European Union);
    • the European Scrutiny Committee’s sifting role and its place in the wider context of House of Commons (and parliamentary) scrutiny, for example in relation to Select Committees, Delegated Legislation Committees (transposition of Directives into UK law), debates and questions on the floor of the House and primary legislation;
    • the mechanism by which the Committee refers documents to European Committees, and the composition and performance of European Committees;
    • expectations, understanding and coverage of the scrutiny process within and outside Westminster;
    • potential changes to the current Standing Orders establishing the Committee and European Committees, and the Scrutiny Reserve resolution, in the light of developments since the Lisbon Treaty; and
    • the current system of Government ‘Explanatory Memoranda’ for deposited documents.

The Committee is expected to begin taking oral evidence in the autumn.

Call for evidence:

Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to submit written evidence to the inquiry. Written evidence should be received by Wednesday 18 July.
Guidance on submitting written evidence is provided below. Additional information can be found here:

Witness Guide (PDF PDF 1.25 MB)

How to format submissions

Each submission should use:

    • numbered paragraphs; and
    • MS Word format with as little use of colour/ logos as possible.

Submitting evidence

Submissions should be sent as an e-mail attachment to and titled ‘Scrutiny inquiry’. Paper copies may be sent to European Scrutiny Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.

Inquiry-related questions

Please contact Sarah Davies, Clerk of the Committee, on 020 7219 5467, or by email to

Media enquiries

Members of the press with enquiries should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589, or by email to

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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