A right-wing EU lawmaker from Poland is being fined 3,040 euros (3,938 dollars) for racist language used in a plenary debate, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Wednesday.

european commission
european commission

Janusz Korwin-Mikke of Poland’s Congress of the New Right party had referred to young unemployed Europeans as “the negroes of Europe” during a debate in July on youth unemployment.

The comment had drawn widespread outrage, two months after right-wing parties had scored gains in European elections, fuelling concerns about the spread of xenophobia.

Schulz told EU parliamentarians that he had offered Korwin-Mikke a chance to “correct” his statement or to apologize.

“He has … declined and persists in his point of view,” Schulz said. “I came to the decision to issue a penalty against Mr Korwin Mikke amounting to 10 daily allowances, which I am depriving him of.”

The daily allowance is 304 euros, according to a Parliament source.

“The lawmakers in the European Parliament are particularly beholden to refrain from statements that are discriminatory or offend human dignity,” Schulz said.

“In our Parliament, there are different religions, different races, different political convictions, representatives of different cultures and nations,” he had noted earlier during a plenary speech marking the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II.

“Peace, tolerance, respect only make an impact when they are not written on paper but implemented on a daily basis,” he said. “The big strength of this parliament is that we do exactly that.”

Korwin-Mikke has 14 days to appeal Schulz’s decision.


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