On 5 March 2019, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted the motion brought by Van der Lee et al. expressing the desirability of holding a parliamentary inquiry into the natural gas extraction in Groningen. The purpose of the inquiry is to establish the facts with regard to the events in the recent and not so recent past and to learn from them.
Start of temporary committee
The motion names two conditions that must be met before the parliamentary inquiry can commence, namely the structural commencement of the settlement of claims and of the reinforcement operation. While these conditions have not yet fully been met, the House of Representatives considers it important that the preparations for the parliamentary inquiry be started now.
Task of the temporary committee
The temporary committee is tasked with preparing a study proposal for setting up a parliamentary inquiry. The study design will set out the scope and focus of the inquiry as well as the objectives, topics for investigation and a planning schedule. The House of Representatives envisions a comprehensive investigation that will be thorough and meticulous. The investigation will go as far back as the start of natural gas extraction.
It is the assumption of the House of Representatives that the temporary committee will need from four to six months to arrive at a proper study design and topics for investigation. This means that the committee’s study proposal may be expected to be ready by the spring of 2021. It is not known when exactly next spring the parliamentary inquiry committee will be instituted.