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EuropeConflict and harassment in the workplace: towards mandatory training for MEPs

Conflict and harassment in the workplace: towards mandatory training for MEPs

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The report endorsed on Wednesday (15 votes for, nine against, no abstentions) aims to strengthen Parliament’s rules on preventing conflict and harassment in the workplace and promoting good office management by introducing mandatory specialised training for MEPs.

Parliamentarians who do not complete this training within the first six months of their term of office (except in exceptional cases or unless they have previously done so) would face penalties and would not be able to be elected as parliamentary office-holders (e.g. to the European Parliament Bureau or as committee chair), be appointed as rapporteur, or participate in an official delegation or interinstitutional negotiations.

The Conference of Presidents (i.e. the President and political group leaders) may, by a three fifths majority comprising at least three groups, table a proposal in plenary to remove any elected office-holder (e.g. a member of the EP Bureau or a committee chair) if they fail to complete the training. A double majority threshold would apply in such a vote: two-thirds of votes cast and a majority of all MEPs. The same procedure will also be applicable for rapporteurs, with the final decision in this case taken by the relevant committee.

Quote

Rapporteur Gabriele Bischoff (S&D, DE) commented: “Parliament has a duty to set the gold standard in tackling harassment in the workplace, with clear rules and strong sanctions for a zero tolerance approach. Prevention is key, as it enables us to address issues proactively, and mandatory training reinforces our commitment to a workplace where the dignity of all is respected and protected. We have fulfilled the clear political mandate provided by Parliament’s Bureau and we are looking forward to the new rules being finalised in plenary, for the sake of all staff working in this House.”

Next steps

The report is expected to be submitted to the 10-11 April plenary session in Brussels.

Background

The training on “How to create a good and well-functioning team” will consist of five different modules covering the recruitment of assistants, successful team management, including conflict prevention and early conflict resolution, administrative and financial aspects of parliamentary assistance, as well as harassment prevention.

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