Sanctions against MEP who offended women  

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Plenary session 

Sanctions of unprecedented severity were announced by EP President Antonio Tajani on Tuesday, against Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke for his unacceptable remarks against women during a plenary debate on the "Gender pay gap" on 1 March.

According to the decision, the MEP will lose his daily subsistence allowance for thirty days, be suspended from parliamentary activities for ten days (with the exception of voting) and prohibited from representing Parliament for one year.

Speaking before the start of the voting session in Strasbourg, President Tajani announced the decision to punish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NA, PL) for his declarations against gender equality. He said: “I will not tolerate such behaviour, in particular when it comes from someone who is expected to discharge his duties as a representative of the peoples of Europe with due dignity. By offending all women, the MEP displayed contempt for our most fundamental values”.

The President also extended his apologies to anyone who was hurt or offended by the MEP’s outburst, emphasising that such behaviour will never be tolerated.


Matters concerning the duration of an MEP’s mandate, including deciding on its end due to resignation, death or withdrawal, are regulated by the law of the EU country where the MEP was elected (Act concerning the election of the representatives of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage of 20 September 1976, Article 13).

After the offending intervention by the Polish MEP, Mr Tajani was immediately alerted to it by several MEPs. After consulting the Vice-President chairing the session at that time and watching footage of the remarks, the President decided to open a procedure on the basis of Rule 11 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.

Possible penalties that can be imposed on MEPs not respecting the standards of conduct are listed in Rule 166 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.

The daily allowance - to cover accommodation and other costs when travelling to Strasbourg or Brussels - is currently €306.