MeToo at EU in Brussels: Employees complain about “witch hunt”

MeToo at EU in Brussels: Employees complain about “witch hunt”

Important decisions are made in the European Parliament – and often inhibitions. Employees complain about abuse of power and say: “There are members of parliament that women warn each other about.”

The atmosphere in the last week of the European Parliament’s session in Strasbourg is like the end of a school trip. Vice President Marc Angel, a social democrat from Luxembourg, walks through the corridors like a hostess, offering warm farewell words. He encourages MPs, Portuguese socialists who have been removed from the electoral list by the new party leader, as well as conservative backbenchers with uncertain list positions. At some point Angel begins to address a major concern that is troubling many here: what if the right-wing anti-Europe groups continue to win votes and gain more power in the election in June? “The European idea,” says Marc Angel, “is stronger than the populist temptation from the right.”

Two floors down in the parliament building, it is 4.30 p.m., and there are more bottles of Alsatian Crémant than champagne glasses on the tables of the “Bar des Cygnes.” There is a “fast lane” for MPs, and a few liberals are currently queuing up. One of the Green group leaders has invited the entire parliament to a farewell drink that evening. And a photo of a condom under a café table in parliament is currently circulating on X. A Commission employee writes: “What happens in the EP, stays in the EP.” What happens in the European Parliament stays there.

“That’s exactly the problem,” says Alejandra Almarcha in the “Blümchenbar” in the basement of the parliament. She works for the European Social Democrats and a few weeks ago co-founded the Harassment Support Network, which fights against sexual harassment and bullying in EU institutions. More than 20 employees, assistants and interns from several groups have already reported that they have been sexually harassed or bullied at work.

The star and Correctiv spent weeks researching the European Parliament, and a team of reporters spoke to dozens of people affected and experts in Brussels and Strasbourg. The research paints a picture of a parliament in which a culture of abuse of power and sexual harassment prevails. Women in particular tell of unpleasant encounters in elevators. Of older parliamentarians on the prowl for “fresh meat”. And of MPs who believe they can get away with just about anything.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts