MEPs pushes for stronger measures to combat sexual harassment
Today, Members of the European Parliament adopted the fifth report on combating sexual harassment in the EU since the #MeToo movement swept through the globe. The report reiterates calls for the European Parliament to implement mandatory anti-harassment trainings for MEPs and staff, reforming the committees dealing with harassment complaints and an external audit. In addition, the European Parliament Quaestors are expected to publish recommendations in the coming weeks on how to reform the EP’s harassment policies.
Dr Sylwia Spurek MEP, Greens/EFA Shadow Rapporteur for the MeToo report in the FEMM committee, comments;
“Sexual harassment is criminalised across the EU and should be treated as such. It affects the safety and health of the employees and all employers, not only the EU institutions, need to do everything they can to ensure a safe working environment. For example, employers should consult external counselling to address harassment in the workplace, and should have confidential counsellors in place.
“This report is timely as it comes right before the European Parliament Quaestors are expected to publish their recommendations on strengthened measures to combat harassment. The Greens/EFA expect the Quaestors to take into consideration all the recommendations the Members of the European Parliament have adopted today in their report. We also expect all Groups within the European Parliament who have voted in favour of today's report to support the adoption of the proposed changes when it will be voted on in the European Parliament Bureau.”
Marcel Kolaja, Greens/EFA MEP and Quaestor in the European Parliament, comments;
"The European Parliament needs to improve its measures and procedures in order to ensure a working environment free from sexual harassment and harassment. Today, the institution does not take its responsibilities as employer to protect its employees, harassment victims are scared to come forward and impunity for MEPs prevails.
Despite some minor positive changes being made over the last few years, a sufficient victim support system is still not in place. The Parliament can and must do better and should treat this as an utmost priority. In the Quaestors' College, the Greens/EFA have put forward strong and specific measures to improve the situation. Those include mandatory harassment prevention training for all MEPs and staff, setting up a mediation service, and ensuring that the advisory committees responsible for dealing with harassment complaints focus on the the wellbeing of victims and include external experts with voting rights, such as lawyers and psychologists."