I am male working in the European Parliament who has been harassed within the EP a couple of time.
I don’t want to exaggerate and these events probably are less extreme than other stories, but still I want to share them.
I cannot remember the first time I was sexually harassed, but I have been working in the EP for a little over four years now. When I started as an APA I attended several informal meetings of the delegation I was working for.
During these informal meetings, one particular female MEP would always be very flirty. I made it clear that I was not in a flirty mood, but she kept persisting.
It happened a couple of times, often with alcohol involved, but nothing worrying ever really happened. Until one night in late 2016.
We were, with hundreds of other people, at an event outside the EP. There she slapped my butt as a greeting, pressed my head in her cleavage and said how much she enjoyed being surrounded by so many young men.
Initially, I saw it as a funny situation, but as time passed and the situation sunk in, I realised how uncomfortable it made me feel. I mean, it wasn’t that fun slap your mother gives you on your 18th birthday, it was the actual enjoyment of touching a younger man.
I regularly see her around the EP, and she acts nicely, so do I. There really isn’t much I could do. But I will always remember that moment. And I am not sure I am the only one who had this experience with MEPs.