On Wednesday, 25th October, during a plenary session debate, MEPs discussed a resolution in favour of a European directive against gender-based violence. Following the Weinstein scandal, as well as several press articles denouncing cases of harassment within the European Parliament itself, the institution had to react. However, the hemicycle was almost empty.
According to the newspaper Politico, « more than 30 allegations of rape, assault and harassment related to the European Parliament » were identified.
« We must take women out of the humiliation and shame they are in, and we must all stop closing the eyes, » French MEP Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (EPP, right wing) argued during the debate. She oversees a committee dedicated to the fight against harassment in Parliament.
Parliamentarians voted on this subject today, Thursday, October 26th, around 1 P.M. They called for the creation of a « committee of independent experts » to help fight internal sexual harassment in the Parliament. These experts should be mandated to « evaluate » and « propose changes » to the work done by the two bodies that already exist in the assembly to shed light on sexual harassment cases or abuses.
Parliamentarians also want the establishment of a « mandatory training for all staff and MPs on respect and dignity at work. »
All too often, the MEPs’ assistants are afraid to denounce the harassment of which they are victims, because they can be easily dismissed. In fact, 80% of women who denounce their employers are then being laid out.
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