Questions for written answer to the Commission are an important component of parliamentary supervision by MEPs. Aware of the large number of written questions, Parliament has itself restricted the exercise of its right to put questions (five questions for written answer per MEP per month, maximum length 200 words, no more than three questions). Regrettably the Commission’s answers are often uninformative, which may result from the Commission’s internal requirements concerning responses to questions (e.g. apparently the answer may not exceed 25 lines).

1. What precise requirements and constraints has the Commission imposed upon itself for answering questions, and how does it justify the fact that its answers often lack any substantial content?

2. On what legal basis were these requirements introduced, and at what level was this decision taken?

3. Is the Commission making efforts to change its practice in responding to questions, so that detailed and conclusive answers may be expected in future?