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Procedure : 2016/2295(IMM)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0047/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0047/2017

Debates :

Votes :

PV 02/03/2017 - 6.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0056

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 2 March 2017 - Brussels Final edition
Request for the waiver of the immunity of Marine Le Pen
P8_TA(2017)0056A8-0047/2017

European Parliament decision of 2 March 2017 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Marine Le Pen (2016/2295(IMM))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Marine Le Pen forwarded on 5 October 2016 by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, French Minister of Justice, in connection with an investigation being conducted by the Nanterre Regional Court into the posting by Ms Le Pen of violent Islamist images on her Twitter account,

–  having heard Jean-François Jalkh, representing Marine Le Pen, in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and to Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011 and 17 January 2013(1),

–  having regard to Article 26 of the Constitution of the French Republic,

–  having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0047/2017),

A.  whereas the French judicial authorities have requested that the immunity of Marine Le Pen, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Front National (FN) party, should be waived in connection with proceedings relating to the posting on her Twitter account, on 16 December 2015, of violent images showing the murder of three hostages by the terrorist group Daesh, together with the comment ‘This is Daesh’, following an interview broadcast on RMC in which a comparison was drawn between the rise of the FN and the activities of Daesh;

B.  whereas it is the established practice of the European Parliament that immunity may be waived where opinions expressed and/or images that are the subject of legal action have no clear or direct connection with the performance of parliamentary duties by the Member of the European Parliament against whom proceedings are being brought and do not constitute opinions expressed or votes cast in the performance of those duties, within the meaning of Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and Article 26 of the Constitution of the French Republic;

C.  whereas, furthermore, Article 9 of that Protocol stipulates that Members of the European Parliament ‘shall enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament’;

D.  whereas the dissemination of violent images likely to undermine human dignity is an offence covered by Articles 227-24, 227-29 and 227-31 of the Criminal Code of the French Republic;

E.  whereas Article 6-1 of French Law No 2004-575 of 21 June 2004 on confidence in the digital economy, transposing Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the internal market ('Directive on electronic commerce'), covers the activities of information society service providers, not individuals;

F.  whereas, although the images posted by Ms Le Pen can be accessed by anyone via Google and have been widely reposted on the internet since they appeared on her Twitter account, this does not alter the fact that their violent nature is likely to undermine human dignity;

G.  whereas the family of the hostage James Foley asked for the three photographs to be removed on 17 December 2015, i.e. following an intervention by the judicial authorities, and whereas, in response to that request, Marine Le Pen removed only the photograph of James Foley;

H.  whereas the speed at which legal proceedings have been taken against Marine Le Pen is comparable to the pace of other proceedings in matters relating to the press and other media, and whereas there therefore is no reason to suspect that this may be a case of ‘fumus persecutionis’, i.e. a situation in which there are signs or evidence of an intent to damage a Member’s political activity;

I.  whereas Article 26 of the Constitution of the French Republic stipulates that no member of parliament may be arrested for a crime or be the subject of any other custodial or semi-custodial measure without the authorisation of the parliament;

J.  whereas it is not for the European Parliament to take a stance on the guilt or otherwise of the Member or whether the acts attributed to her warrant the opening of criminal proceedings;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Marine Le Pen;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of the French Republic and to Marine Le Pen.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 12 May 1964, Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier, 101/63, ECLI:EU:C:1964:28; judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 1986, Wybot v Faure and others, 149/85, ECLI:EU:C:1986:310; judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440; judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C-200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C-163/10, ECLI:EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23.

Legal notice