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EU Committees

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many committees work for the EU institutions, broken down by (a) expert groups advising the European Commission on policy formation, (b) Council working groups, (c) comitology committees, (d) committees working for the European Court of Justice, (e) standing committees in the European Parliament and (f) other committees. (113830)

Expert groups are set up by the Commission, mainly on an informal basis, to provide it with independent advice. Membership is entirely for the Commission to decide but is generally drawn from academia, industry, trade unions and consumer groups. The composition, size and frequency of meetings of the groups vary enormously. The Commission’s database lists 1,237 such groups. Their responsibilities cover policy development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation phases. The Commission does not specify how many of the groups are dedicated to policy formation only.

Approximately 250 working parties and committees. These prepare for meetings of the council including all aspects of EU policy and legislation.

There are 250 comitology committees.

There are no committees working for the European Court of Justice.

20 permanent committees and 6 temporary committees in the European Parliament.

We are not aware of any centrally held figures for committees outside of the categories listed.