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MeToo EP: Anonymous blog lifts lid on sexism and harassment in European Parliament

07:31 11/10/2018

Staff at the European Parliament have launched a blog featuring anonymous individual accounts of sexism, sexual harassment and assault at work.

The creators of the MeToo EP blog say the parliament is not taking sufficient steps to implement changes to its sexual harassment policy, which was approved by a large majority last year.

"The time has come to break the culture of silence in our workplace, to support the victims and to encourage them to speak out and share their stories," the blog's founders said.

Anonymous accounts posted so far include "the time my colleague took candid photographs of me" and a young male trainee who was touched in his sleep.

In "the time I was assaulted on an official EP Mission", a woman writes: "I was sent on an official mission and decided to share my Airbnb with a colleague. One night, I was in bed when I heard a knock on the door. I was tired so I did not answer. The door suddenly opened, and my colleague walked in, in just his underpants.

"I got angry and insisted he leave. Instead, he barged got into my bed. I was so scared that I curled up in a little ball and begged him to leave me alone. But rather than respect my wishes, he chose to assault me.

"I filed a complaint with the competent authority on 3 October 2017. I am still waiting for their answer."

Last October, the European Parliament adopted a resolution advocating zero tolerance against harassment and sexual abuse. The text also called for the creation of a committee of independent experts to examine the situation with the parliament itself.

Read the stories on the MeToo EP blog here - and see this recent Bulletin article on how workplace sexism is rife in the European institutions.

Welsh MEP Jill Evans said on Twitter: "Incredible that staff in the European Parliament have come forward to share their stories. Let’s show our solidarity and call on parliament to give us a strong resolution combating sexual harassment and abuse. Together we can make a big difference."