Voting procedure criticised by MEPs

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An MEP has said the Parliament's civil servants who organised the previous day's voting session "should be sacked".

Speaking during the daily voting session on 24 October 2013, German EPP MEP Albert Dess criticised the fact that Wednesday's votes had taken over two hours, due to hundreds of amendments on the EU's annual budget and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

He pointed out that at a similarly lengthy voting session in March, the vice-president chairing the votes, Greek MEP Giorgios Papastamkos, collapsed, and remains in a serious condition.

Mr Dess noted that MEPs had been promised that votes would be made shorter in future.

He said, "There is a group of civil servants responsible for organising the voting. I think they should be fired on the spot or put on work detail cleaning windows."

However British Labour MEP Michael Cashman said that it was MEPs themselves who were accountable, not staff "who cannot defend themselves".

The presiding officer, German MEP Rainer Wieland insisted that the issue of votes would be looked at "at the highest level".

MEPs then proceeded to hold their regular voting session on topics including:

Useful links:

The European Parliament's disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations can be found here.

Read Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work here.

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