Thursday, 9 October 2008

Our game, our rules

That's the way the European Parliament operates.

A written declaration is like an Early Day Motion at Westminster. Not going to become law but gets an issue aired. It's entirely common for posters to be put up advertising one inside the Parliament, flyers to be handed out, all that sort of thing.

Except, if your declaration is something that the Parliament authorities don't like, oooh, say, getting rid of the monthly move to Strasbourg, then they ban you from putting up such posters.

Dear President Pöttering,
with astonishment I have received the email from Mr. Rizzico you will find below .
After consulting Mr. Rizzico, he informed me that it is from now on (Tuesday, 7.10.2008) generally forbidden to promote or advertise Written Declarations in the European Parliament.
I am wondering how the administration may take a decision that far reaching, especially since it has been allowed for the last four years to promote Written Declarations.
Especially as the quoted paragraph of the rules of procedure do not relate to the question of setting up a poster on the passarelle or elsewhere in the house.
Maybe I am misinformed but as I understand the rules such a decision may only be taken by political bodies of the European Parliament - so far I have not seen a single note on this issue, neither from the conference of presidents nor from the quaestors.
President Pöttering, this issue is a serious interference with the right of Members of political expression which will be examined under the possibility of taking court action against the European Parliament for infringement of the rights of Members.
Also, as I have not received a clarification from you concerning the incident which happend last plenary session, please recall my emails from the 25. and 26.9.2008 addressed to you. Until today I have not received an answer.
Therefore I would again urge you to reply to the content of this email and help clarify the situation since I am sure that we both desire to avoid legal action. Additionally I belive that this is a matter of interest to all Members of the house since it touches their right of political expression.
Sincerely yours,
Alexander Alvaro

A lovely bunch, our rulers, eh?

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