On April 17, 2019, on the margins of the plenary of the European Parliament of Strasbourg, Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba, in his capacity of Council Presidency, had an informal political meeting with the Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO), Danuta Hubner (EPP, PL), and the EP Rapporteur Ramon Jauregui Atondo (S&D, ES), in order to discuss the status and the advancement perspectives of the file regarding the EP’s right to investigate. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the European Commission and of the upcoming Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Minister Ciamba expressed his appreciation for the efforts that the Committee on Constitutional Affairs had made to advance a draft working document that would meet the concerns of the Council regarding a file of such political and legal complexity. He also pointed out that, despite the improvements suggested by the EP, the document could not enjoy enough support from the Member States.
The Romanian dignitary reassured the delegation of the European Parliament that the Romanian Presidency was open to advancing the discussions in the Council and the informal dialogue during the months that had elapsed, but he also highlighted that it was not possible to overcome the red lines of the Member States, taking into account that the file raised fundamental issues falling within the exclusive competences of the Member States. Minister Ciamba stated that the discussions taking place in the Council pointed to the fact that the only way to break the deadlock might be for the European Parliament to allow for significantly more flexibility.
The representatives of the European Parliament welcomed the availability of the Romanian Presidency to cooperate in that file, especially in view of the constraints that lack of consensus in the Council posed on the Council Presidency mandate and of the current calendar limitations. They also reiterated that they expected negotiations to restart under the next legislature and recalled that the right of the European Parliament to have the legislative initiative in the field of regulating the right to investigation was safeguarded in the Treaty of Lisbon.
Minister Ciamba reaffirmed that the Council of the EU remained open to dialogue, in the same spirit of loyal cooperation, in case the topic would be raised again in the new European Parliament legislature.