Tuesday

21st Aug 2018

MEPs demand external probe into parliament sex abuse

  • Female staffers at the EU Parliament risk sexual abuse and harassment by male MEPs (Photo: EUobserver)

A group of MEPs are demanding an external probe into allegations of sexual harassment at the European Parliament following a report of abuse of young female staffers in the Sunday Times newspaper.

The article described the European Parliament as a "hotbed of sex harassment" following revelations a number of male senior MEPs had abused around a dozen female aides.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Names of the the alleged perpetators have been kept from the public, although the Times newspaper did mention Yves Cochet, a former French environment minister and Green party MEP.

The demand for an external investigation from the five MEPs also calls for a special committee on sexual harassment to help the victims and ensure the assailants are brought to justice.

On Monday (23 October), EU Parliament president Antonio Tajani said that it was "with shock and indignation" that he had learned of the allegations of sexual harassment.

He said people can already report the abuse to a special advisory committee of MEPs and promised "to further increase awareness of the facilities already in place."

The committee has yet to receive any formal complaints but Tajani said the issue would be discussed among group party leaders.

The allegations cited in the Sunday Times are serious.

A senior MEP masturbating in front of a young assistant, a German MEP groping his assistant on her behind, another taking photos and sending them at night.

They are also widespread.

Politico Europe says it has so far collected the testimonies of 87 women and six men.

The news portal has set up a special website to collect more testimonies for those who want to come forward.

Politico notes some of the allegations collected so far include trading sex for legislative favours and work contracts, among others. Over half of them are from people working in NGOs or in the private sector.

Last year, and in a separate case, French liberal MEP Robert Rochefort was arrested for masturbating in public near the presence of children at a hardware store. He pleaded guilty.

MEPs to investigate Ukip brawl

The European Parliament's ethics committee will try to establish what happened between Mike Hookem and Steven Woolfe, who will remain in the hospital until Sunday.

'Sex pest' scandal claims UK senior minister

Defence minister Michael Fallon resigned over sexual harassment allegations, amid a growing scandal that could weaken the government in the middle of crucial Brexit talks.

EU campaigners cry foul on sexual harassment

An MEP taking a lead against sexual harassment in the European parliament says Antonio Tajani should have remained in Brussels to accept a petition for EU wide reform.

Investigation

EU Commission paying too much for iPhones and IT

EUobserver has obtained internal documents and emails from within the European Commission that outline questionable contracts with outside suppliers who appear to be overcharging for goods and services.

News in Brief

  1. Italy threatens to return migrants to Libya
  2. MEP accuses Maltese government of 'hate campaign'
  3. EU values not negotiable, German FM tells Poland
  4. Audit warns 840 French bridges at risk of collapse
  5. Fashion king pours money into campaign for second Brexit vote
  6. Germany could aid Turkey, SPD leader hints
  7. UK government set to publish no-deal Brexit advice
  8. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. Wind delays launch of European wind-mapping satellite
  2. Greece 'normal' again after end of crisis, EU says
  3. Putin strikes blow against Russia's isolation by Europe
  4. EU-China cooperation on CO2 storage lost in limbo
  5. Greece exits bailouts, but difficult path ahead
  6. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  7. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  8. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us