COMMENTARYThe Censored Parliament

By Sophia Kuby Posted on: | 10 March 2017
Read the full commentary by Sophia Kuby at EURactiv 
 
Recently, the European Parliament adapted its internal procedures. According to the newly introduced "Rule 165", the President of the session may interrupt the live broadcasting in case of “defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behaviour” by another Member. 
He may also deny the right to speak for the duration of the session, if the speaker chooses to continue, and delete the offensive speech from the electronic records. 
The plenary live-streaming feature was introduced by the European Parliament several years ago precisely to ensure transparency of proceedings and to bring the European Parliament closer to citizens. 
Deleting parts of the discourse, no matter how offensive, contradicts the very principle of transparency the EU Parliament claims to promote. And by the way, who defines what exactly "defamatory, xenophobic or racist" language is?
By denying the citizens’ democratic access to opposing viewpoints, the EU Parliament shows distrust in its constituents’ right to make their own critical assessments.
 

Sophia Kuby

Director of EU Advocacy

Sophia Kuby serves as director of European Union advocacy for ADF International in Belgium. She advocates for religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

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