Nico Semsrott of satirical party Die PARTEI staged a protest over European Commission presidential hopeful Ursula von der Leyen ahead of a vote on her nomination.
German MEP Nico Semsrott from satirical party Die PARTEI (The Party) staged a protest against European Commission president hopeful Ursula von der Leyen ahead of a vote in the European Parliament on whether to approve her nomination.
Taking the floor in the plenary, Semsrott pointed out the "rules of procedure" on possible conflicts of interest and called for the "disclosure of the financial interests" of Ursula von de Leyen, as well as a check to be carried out into any such conflicts.
Semsrott added that he already had a suggestion as to how this might look, revealing a black hooded jacket covered in stickers with the logos of firms including KPMG, Accenture, McKinsey, PWE, and PESCO. He also donned a pair of giant sunglasses with stickers on them.
He appeared to be alluding to a scandal in the German Federal Ministry of Defense, led by von de Leyen, concerning external consultancy contracts.
The presidential hopeful told the German parliament last November there had been “mistakes” in how external consultants were hired, adding "this never should have happened."
However, she defended the use of consultants of this nature, arguing they had been necessary to undertake a large-scale overhaul of the ministry.
Parliament President David Sassoli reacted to Semsrott's intervention by saying this was not a draft rule and moved on to the next question.
On Twitter, Semsrott later said: "In a democracy, you should at least wear advertising banners so that everyone knows who you're working for."