Reviving the debating culture in this house

Letter to David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament

Dear President Sassoli, dear Chair Tajani,  

With the attached letter, we are asking for your help to revive the debating culture of this House. Our ambition is to make this house the central platform for the creation of a European public.  

While we understand that there have been recent changes to the Rules of Procedures, debates in the Plenary as well as hearings and exchanges in Committees are regularly reduced to political statements often lacking reference to and engagement with other speakers. As a result, citizens often do not take note of the European Parliament’s deliberation process and even the interested media has a hard time covering our debates.  

With this in mind, we are calling for concrete changes of the rules of procedure as well as a change of behaviour when debating. As first ideas we propose to:

  • Provide sufficient time for the exchange of arguments and counter-arguments;
  • Offer members to give speeches from the lectern facing the plenary;
  • Complement the current ‘blue card’ process with the possibility of a contradictory interventions after contributions in Plenary;
  • Require members, with and without speaking time, to fill in empty seats from front to back during all plenary debates in order to improve their appearance and to further the exchange of arguments. 

Besides these first ideas, we invite you to discuss also more long term changes with us, for example, how to improve the seating arrangements in Committees to allow Members to face each other, and how to time debates and votes better.  

Dear President Sassoli, dear Chair Tajani, we hope this letter can mark the beginning of an exchange and a development to make our house more visible in a real European public debate. We therefore invite you, together with the members of the internal Committee on the Rules of Procedure to a first discussion on this subject.  

Kind regards,  

Signatories of the letter  

ANDRESEN, Rasmus (Greens/EFA)

BELLAMY, François-Xavier (EPP)

BENTELE, Hildegard (EPP)

BERGER, Stefan (EPP)

BERENDSEN, TOM (EPP)

BLOSS, Michael (Greens/EFA)

BOESELAGER, Damian (Greens/EFA)

CAVAZZINI, Anna (Greens/EFA)

CERDAS, Sara (S&D)

CHAHIM, Mohammed (S&D)

CSEH, Katalin (Renew Europe)

DOLESCHAL, Christian (EPP)

DONÁTH, Anna (Renew Europe)

DÜPONT, Lena (EPP)

GAMON, Claudia (Renew Europe)

GREGOROVÁ, Markéta (Greens/EFA)

GROŠELJ, Klemen, (Renew Europe)

HAHN, Svenja Ilona (Renew Europe)

HEIDE, Hannes (S&D)

HERBST, Niclas (EPP)

HOMS GINEL, Alícia (S&D)

INCIR, Evin (S&D)

JOVEVA, Irena (Renew Europe)

KAILI, Eva (S&D)

KÖRNER, Moritz (Renew Europe)

LAGODINSKY, Sergey (Greens/EFA)

MALDONADO LÓPEZ, Adriana (S&D)

MARQUARDT, Erik (Greens/EFA)

MAYDELL, Eva (EPP)

MELCHIOR, Karen (Renew Europe)

MORTLER, Marlene (EPP)

NIENAß, Niklas (Greens/EFA)

PEETERS, Kris (EPP)

PETER-HANSEN, Kira Marie (Greens/EFA)

RESSLER, Karlo (EPP)

SCHNEIDER, Christine (EPP)

SEEKATZ, Ralf (EPP)

SIKORSKI, Radosław (EPP)

SIMON, Sven (EPP)

SKYTTEDAL, Sara (EPP)

SOKOL, Tomislav (EPP)

WALSMANN, Marion (EPP)

WARBORN, Jörgen (EPP)

WOLTERS, Lara (S&D)

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