Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Committee of inquiry into funding of Palestinian authority

Delivered in Plenary - March 10th 2003

Mr President,

I was deeply disappointed that the initiative to launch a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the allegations of misuse of EU funds by the Palestinian Authority was not even discussed at the meeting of the Conference of Presidents last Thursday. Over one quarter of the Members of this House signed a petition to this effect and this controversial issue, which generated a lot of press attention and outside interest by our constituents, deserves better than to be swept under the carpet with no democratic debate being allowed.

Surely the intention of Rule 151 is not to give the political groups the right to decide that the matter should not even be discussed in plenary when across the House so many Members regard this as a very serious matter. I would appreciate your ruling on the correct procedures under Rule 151(3), as in my view the very democratic credibility of this House is now at stake.