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Special Committees, Committee of the two Houses, Inquiry Committees

Special Committees

In addition to the Standing Committees, the Chamber of Deputies may resolve to form Special Committees with a membership that reflects the proportions of the Parliamentary Groups and determine its duration and areas of competence.

Committees of Enquiry

As decreed in Article 82 of the Constitution, each House of Parliament may undertake enquiries into matters of public interest. To this end, the House sets up a special Committee whose composition reflects the proportionate strengths of Parliamentary Groups. Joint Committees of Enquiry made up of both Deputies and Senators, are generally set up by the passing of a law. The Committees of Enquiry, whether consisting of members of just one House of Parliament or of members of both Houses, conduct their investigations and examinations with the same powers and the same constraints as judicial authorities.

Joint Committees

These consist of Parliamentary Committees instituted by law and made up of Senators and Deputies in accordance with the principle of proportionality. If the law specifies it, all Parliamentary Groups must have representation on these Committees.

They may be divided as follows:

Committees directly referred to by the Constitution or by constitutional laws. The Parliamentary Committee for Regional Affairs, set up pursuant to Article 126 of the Constitution, is referred to when the President of the Republic issues a motivated decree dissolving a Regional Council or removing a President of a Regional Government from office. The law and the Parliamentary Rules also assign the Committee other powers. For example, it is also responsible for issuing opinions on bills and Government regulatory instruments that are being considered by Standing Committees. Pursuant to Constitutional Law 1, Article 12 of 11 March 1953, and Constitutional Law 1, Article 3 of 16 January 1989, the Standing Committee for the Authorisation of Prosecution is responsible for preparing procedures for the prosecution of the President of the Republic on charges of high treason or subversion of the Constitution.

Committees for policy-setting, oversight and control

Set up by law, these Committees carry out unique functions relating to specific sectors and themes. They include the Parliamentary Committee for the General Orientation and Oversight of Radio and Television services, the Parliamentary Committee for Children and Teenagers, the Committee for the Oversight of Taxation Register, the Parliamentary Committee for the Oversight of Entities Managing Mandatory Pension and Welfare Services, the Parliamentary Committee of Control for the Enforcement of the Schengen Agreement, for Oversight of Europol Activities, and the Control and Oversight of Immigration Affairs, and the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic.

Advisory Committees, set up by law to examine specific Government legislative instruments

With the promulgation of Article 14 of Law 246 of 28 November 2005, the present Parliament set up a Committee for Streamlining and assigned to it the powers envisaged in the law, and with Article 3 of Law 42 of 5 May 2009, set up a Parliamentary Committee for Fiscal Federalism and assigned to it the powers envisaged in the law.