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EP President Jerzy BUZEK on MEP Nigel FARAGE - 68659

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Date
03-03-2010 00:00
 
Duration
00:02'40"
 
Subject
Nigel Farage
 
Keywords
Farage speech in BXL mini session
 
Location
Sofia, Bulgaria
 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, met with Nigel Farage, Co-Chairman of the EFD Group in the European Parliament, earlier today to discuss the latter's behavior in the plenary of the Parliament on Wednesday 24 February, during the report-back by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, on the outcome of the informal summit meeting held in Brussels on Thursday 11 February.

The Parliament's President explained to Mr Farage that he attaches the highest importance to freedom of speech. Members are completely free to express their views on the policies and institutions of the European Union, but not to insult colleagues or special guests, such as Mr Van Rompuy, on the floor of the chamber. The President stated that such behavior was inappropriate and disrespectful to the dignity of the Parliament. Some of the comments which Mr Farage had made were offensive to Mr Rompuy personally and to Belgium as a country.

Background

The President invited Mr Farage to withdraw his comments and to apologise to Mr Van Rompuy, the Belgian people and his parliamentary colleagues for any offence which such remarks might have caused. Mr Farage made it clear that he was not willing to do so. The President has now written to Mr Farage expressing disappointment at his behaviour and imposing a penalty of the forfeiture of ten days' entitlement to the daily subsistence allowance for Members. The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, said after his meeting with Mr Farage: "I defend absolutely Mr Farage's right to disagree about the policy or institutions of the Union, but not to personally insult our guests in the European Parliament or the country from which they may come. His behaviour towards Mr Rompuy was inappropriate, unparliamentary and insulting to the dignity of the house. As a former member of the Polish Solidarity movement, I myself fought for free speech as the absolute cornerstone of a democratic society. But with freedom comes responsibility - in this case, to respect the dignity of others and of our institutions. I am disappointed by Mr Farage's behaviour, which sits ill with the great parliamentary tradition of his own country. I cannot accept this sort of behaviour in the European Parliament. I invited him to apologise, but he declined to do so. I have therefore - as an expression of the seriousness of the matter - rescinded his right to ten days' daily allowance as a Member".

 
REF. : 20100303SHL92842
 

Shotlist

Timestamp (hh:mm'ss") Description
00:00'00" Title
00:00'05" SOUNDBITE in PL: Jerzy BUZEK, (EPP, PL) EP President: Saying that he is defending the position of Mr Farage if it concerns any criticism against an instition or against a political decision, but it is not possible to go against the dignity of any person. Therefore he had proposed to Mr Farage to apologise against any person he insultated, but he didn't want to. So it was necessary as it is a special case, for the first time in the history of the EP, therefore it is necessary to give such a penalty.
00:00'50" SOUNDBITE in EN: Jerzy BUZEK, (EPP, PL) EP President: Saying that he is defending the position of Mr Farage if it concerns any criticism against an instition or against a political decision, but it is not possible to go against the dignity of any person. Therefore he had proposed to Mr Farage to apologise against any person he insultated, but he didn't want to. So it was necessary as it is a special case, for the first time in the history of the EP, therefore it is necessary to give such a penalty.
00:02'40" END
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