Procedure : 2013/2279(IMM)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0245/2014

Texts tabled :

A7-0245/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 02/04/2014 - 18.2
CRE 02/04/2014 - 18.2

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2014)0257

REPORT     
PDF 130kWORD 55k
24 March 2014
PE 529.808v02-00 A7-0245/2014

on the request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Mario Borghezio

(2013/2279(IMM))

Committee on Legal Affairs

Rapporteur: Bernhard Rapkay

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Mario Borghezio

(2013/2279(IMM))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the request by Mario Borghezio of 21 November 2013, announced in plenary on 21 November 2013, for the defence of his immunity in connection with investigations against him by the Court of Milan (ref. 47917/13),

–       having heard Carlo Casini, who represented Mario Borghezio in accordance with Rule 7(5) of its Rules of Procedure, and also Mario Borghezio in person,

–       having regard to Articles 1, 11 and 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–       having regard to Rule 153 of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and 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 and 6 September 2011(1),

–       having regard to the Italian Criminal Code,

–       having regard to Rules 6a and 7 of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0245/2014),

A.     whereas a Member of the European Parliament, Mario Borghezio, has requested the defence of his parliamentary immunity in connection with proceedings before an Italian court;

B.     whereas, according to Article 8 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, Members of the European Parliament may not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties;

C.     whereas the purpose of this provision is to ensure that Members of the European Parliament enjoy freedom of speech as a matter of principle, but whereas this entitlement to free speech does not authorise slander, libel, incitement to hatred, questioning the honour of others, or any utterance contrary to Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

D.     whereas the request by Mario Borghezio relates to criminal investigations against him being carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Milan in connection with statements he is alleged to have made in a radio interview of 8 April 2013;

E.     whereas Mario Borghezio was a Member of the European Parliament at the time of the interview;

F.     whereas, according to the notice served by the Prosecutor’s Office, the statements in question are punishable under Articles 81(1) and 595(1) of the Italian Criminal Code, Article 3(1) of Law No 205/1993 and Article 3(1)(a) of Law No 654/1975, that is to say for repeated public defamation and spreading discriminatory ideas founded on superiority or racial hatred;

G.     whereas the statements made concern supposed characteristics of the Roma ethnic group;

H.     whereas the records of Mario Borghezio’s parliamentary activities show that he has shown interest in Roma issues, but whereas the facts of the case, as manifested in the notice from the Prosecutor’s Office and in the hearing in the Committee on Legal Affairs, indicate that the statements he made in the interview have no direct and obvious connection with those parliamentary activities;

I.      whereas the statements alleged to have been made exceed the tone generally encountered in political debate and are, moreover, profoundly unparliamentary in nature; whereas they are contrary to Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and cannot therefore be deemed to have been made in the performance of the duties of a Member of the European Parliament;

J.      whereas, if made in a parliamentary sitting, statements such as those made by Mario Borghezio could have attracted penalties under Rule 153 of the Rules of Procedure; whereas parliamentary immunity should not therefore cover such statements when made outside Parliament;

K.     whereas Mario Borghezio cannot therefore be deemed to have been acting in the performance of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament;

1.      Decides not to defend the immunity and privileges of Mario Borghezio;

2.      Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its competent committee immediately to the relevant authorities of the Italian Republic and to Mario Borghezio.

(1)

Case 101/63 Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier [1964] ECR 195, Case 149/85 Wybot v Faure and Others [1986] ECR 2391, Case T-345/05 Mote v Parliament [2008] ECR II-2849, Joined Cases C-200/07 and C-201/07 Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente [2008] ECR I-7929, Case T-42/06 Gollnisch v Parliament [2010] ECR II-1135 and Case C-163/10 Patriciello [2011] ECR I-07565.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.3.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

8

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Luigi Berlinguer, Françoise Castex, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Annette Koewius, Antonio Masip Hidalgo, Bernhard Rapkay, Evelyn Regner, Francesco Enrico Speroni, Rebecca Taylor

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Eva Lichtenberger

Last updated: 25 March 2014Legal notice