MEPs have thrown their weight behind the viral #MeToo campaign, which has seen thousands of victims of sexual harassment using the hashtag as a platform to share their experiences.
In a plenary debate on Wednesday morning, deputies discussed sexual harassment in Parliament and Europe.
During the discussion, Iratxe García Pérez, the S&D group spokesperson for women’s rights and gender equality, said, “The roots of sexual harassment and abuse lie in an unequal society, where one side can misuse the power they have over someone else, where the victims are afraid to speak out and witnesses look the other way. This has to stop. Men have to stand up and take their responsibility to end the impunity. We all have to stand up and call out sexual harassment - not just the victims. We all have to say load and clear: women you are not alone.
“We also have to clean up our own house. The European Parliament has systems to deal with sexual harassment and abuse, but they are clearly not working. We must make the tools work for the victims and ensure that they have no reason to fear for their jobs. The Socialists and Democrats are calling for independent experts to investigate the situation on sexual harassment and abuse in the European Parliament. Enough is enough.”
However, Greens/EFA group member Ernest Urtasun, a member of Parliament's women's rights and gender equality committee, was critical about the fact that only five men took part in the debate.
On Thursday, MEPs will vote on a resolution on sexual harassment in the EU institutions.