On this video, a delegation from Italy is presenting its petition to the Committee. The deputies should discuss the petition and make a decision on it. However, the chairman of the sitting says: “Thank you very much for your contribution. Thank you so much. Now... The floor is now open actually to colleagues, but there are no colleagues. There is, yeah we only have one colleague with me at this moment. So. Now, I would like to give the floor back to... to... you. To the... your petitioners. Very very short now.” The chairman of the sitting admits that only 2 deputies are present on the sitting. Actually, the camera shows only empty chairs where deputies should have been sitting. The sitting took place on 11 October, 2016.
However, the official document called Minutes of Meeting reads that 33 deputies were present on this sitting. Examination of the full video recording of the sitting shows that 24 of them were not caught by camera at all, which means they have not been present at the sitting. The rest of the deputies had left the room before the sitting was over. Thus, the official Minutes of Meeting of this sitting is a falsification.
A similar situation took place on 28 November 2016, when the Committee on Petitions was considering petition No 0789/2015 about the illegal business on Schengen visas. I was invited to the sitting as the author of the petition. There were only 4 members of the PETI Committee present at the meeting, from 34 members and 27 substitute members. In late January 2017, the Minutes of Meeting has been published, and it read that significantly more deputies were present than there actually were. In that case, a falsification also took place. Besides that, forging signatures of the deputies probably took place. According to the Rules of Procedure, members of the European Parliament must sign attendance registers in the meeting room on every sitting. Someone signed the attendance registers while the deputies were away from the meeting room. The European Parliament refused to provide us copies of the attendance registers. This is a violation of the law on public access to information.
On November 30, 2016 I submitted a complaint to the President of the European Parliament against the violations in the PETI Committee. I appealed several times to the office of the President of the European Parliament asking to speed up the consideration of my complaint. Each time I was assured that the response would be provided as soon as possible, but I have still not received it. Such attitude of the President of the European Parliament made the activists of our “The Renaissance” movement hold their investigation of the activities of the PETI Committee. During examination of all the minutes of meetings which took place in 2016 and comparing them to the video recordings of the meetings, it was concluded that the violations in the PETI Committee are systematic. The most common violation is mismatch of the number of deputies listed in the minutes of meetings and number of deputies who were really present on the meetings, which occurred in 90% of cases. The difference varied from 2 to 25 persons in each meeting. More specifically, these deputies were not caught by camera for a single second. The actions of the members of the European Parliament violate the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament and Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament. Thus, most of the decisions made by the Committee on Petitions have no legal force. The Secretariat and Bureau of the PETI Committee falsify the minutes of meetings, probably to hide the aforementioned violations.
The video recordings of the sittings show tens of people, but these people are assistants of the deputies. They do not have right to discuss petitions and make decisions.
It should be mentioned, that according to the European Parliament petitions portal, during 2013-2016, citizens and organizations of the EU sent some thousands of petitions to the European Parliament. Many of these petitions were supported by a significant amount of citizens (from 200 to 500 people and even more). This way, the right of petition of hundreds of thousands EU citizens could have been violated by the bodies of the European Parliament. But these citizens don’t even suspect that their right has been violated.
List of the Members of the European Parliament which were not caught by camera at all during the sitting of the PETI committee on 11 October 2016 afternoon:
List of the Members of the European Parliament which were caught by camera for some time, but who had left the room before the sitting was over.
It remains unclear, who stayed until the end of the sitting with Ms Cecilia Wikström (seen on the tribune). Ms Wikström is a chairman of this sitting and a head of the PETI committee.