In 2012 the EU won the Nobel Prize for Peace. But what about the slightly less good things that have been happening in the European Parliament for the past 5 years? As a bit of fun before the European elections here’s my very own, very unscientific, EP Ignobel Prize. Vote below for the oddest and weirdest MEP behaviour in the past parliamentary term*! Comment, debate and make more suggestions on Twitter using the tag #EPIgnobel.
1) Je n’en peux plus (December 2009)
MEPs involved: Rachida Dati (EPP)
What it is: Dati filmed by M6, complaining about her job (all the details, and the video here)
Why it deserves to win: Contempt for her voters such a short time after the election, but nevertheless simultaneously making a fool of herself
2) Coalition des hypocrites (February 2010)
MEPs involved: Dany Cohn-Bendit (Greens-EFA)
What it is: a genuinely funny speech in the European Parliament, with serious content
Why it deserves to win: it’s actually good and funny too!
3) ‘X Files’ archive of UFO sightings (July 2010)
MEPs involved: Mario Borghezio (formerly EFD)
What it is: he wants the EU to set up an archive of UFO sightings (news story here)
Why it deserves to win: he meant it seriously.
4) The Pink Suit (September 2010)
MEPs involved: Gerard Batten (EFD)
What it is: a dreadful pink suit and yellow tie
Why it deserves to win: why wear that?
5) Master of the Univers (July 2012)
MEPs involved: Jens Rohde (ALDE)
What it is: A MEP refusing to declare what his earnings were prior to becoming a MEP, and declaring he was “Master of the Univers”. More on my blog about it here.
Why it deserves to win: Absurd arrogance, and a poor sense of humour and equally poor spelling.
6) De Eurostriptease (discovered Jan 2013)
MEPs involved: Ivo Belet (EPP)
What it is: a very suggestive campaign video, full of innuendo and prejudices. More about it in this blog entry.
Why it deserves to win: because it’s so awful.
7) Ukraine is not your brothel (March 2013)
MEPs involved: Elmar Brok (EPP)
What it is: Brok is accosted outside the EP building in Brussels by a topless FEMEN activist.
Why it deserves to win: The video is very funny, especially if you have ever encountered Brok, and that the EEAS had to make a statement about the incident just ads to the mystery.
8) Sign in and sod off (June 2013)
MEPs involved: Miroslav Ransdorf (GUE-NGL), Raffaele Baldassarre (EPP)
What it is: MEPs signing in for their daily allowance. Ransdorf slaps the cameraman, and Baldassarre starts hitting his microphone in a lift after claiming not to understand what is going on.
Why it deserves to win: It’s the oldest corrupt trick in the MEPs’ book, and yet they still fall for it. The reaction of these two is both awful and amusing.
9) Cut up a Visa card (February 2014)
MEPs involved: Michael Cashman (S&D)
What it is: Cashman is incensed by western companies sponsoring the Sochi Olympics, and cuts up his Visa card in protest.
Why it deserves to win: it’s a worthwhile cause, and it’s a fun way to illustrate the point
10) Rap Battle in EP (April 2014)
MEPs involved: Sebastian Valentin Bodu (EPP), Lara Comi (EPP), Ismail Ertug (S&D), Sandra Petrovic Jakovina (S&D), Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (ALDE), Marietje Schaake (ALDE) and Ska Keller (Greens-EFA)
What it is: MEPs trying to rap. BBC News about it here.
Why it deserves to win: MEPs trying to rap. That’s just strange, and cringeworthy.
* – note that MEPs have done some seriously bad things too. These examples are to make you smile or groan, not just to get angry.
Thanks to @joswabe, @AtleticoDave, @BrusselsGeek, @Chx2Bxl, @kliehm, @uhereczkyagi, @colingoeu, @SophiaBengtsson, @tehpw, @DaviesNathalie and @Kosmopolit for their suggestions on Twitter that have contributed to this blog post!