- The Federal Election Committee today approved our list of candidates for the 2019 European elections. The candidates had been elected at a party convention in mid-2018. The requested removal of the second candidate on the list, Gilles Bordelais, was unfortunately rejected today.
- When Gilles Bordelais was elected to the list, he was a long-time employee of our MEP Julia Reda in Brussels. According to Julia Reda, his employment contract has been terminated in the meantime; she had applied to the parliamentary administration for this termination following her investigation of several complaints of sexual harassment by Gilles Bordelais, which she had received only after the party’s list had been elected. In February 2019, an advisory committee on harassment at the workplace, after a detailed examination of the allegations, found that aspects of Gilles Bordelais’ behaviour towards one employee should be classified as sexual harassment.
- When Julia Reda informed the German Pirate Party’s board about the complaints and the dismissal proceedings still ongoing at that time, the board decided to wait for the pending outcome of the examination by the advisory committee. Furthermore, Gilles Bordelais had promised his voluntary resignation from the list should the European Parliament’s Advisory Committee on Harassment at the Workplace conclude that sexual harassment had taken place. When this finding was made in February 2019, Gilles Bordelais declared his resignation as a candidate to the party’s board, and this resignation was made public on the German Pirate Party’s website with Gilles Bordelais’s agreement. At the same time as making his statement to the board, Gilles Bordelais submitted a missing document to the Federal Election Commissioner for his admission to the election. Unfortunately, it proved impossible to have him removed from our list for the European elections. The German voting statutes do not provide for the resignation of candidates (§ 9 para. 3 sentence 5 EuWG). We did not have time to draw up a new list between February 2019 and the deadline of 4 March. I very much regret this. Despite the low chances of Gilles Bordelais being elected, it was important to us to obtain his removal from the list. The Pirate Party is the party of fundamental and human rights. Women’s rights are rightly the focus of public attention. Sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable.
- It is to be expected that Gilles Bordelais’s candidacy, which continues contrary to our intentions, will have no effect. According to current opinion polls, the Pirate Party of Germany can expect a result of around 1.0% and thus 1 seat in the European Parliament. Being the party’s lead candidate, I want to fight for the protection of our digital rights and freedoms in Europe. The misconduct of one list candidate shall not destroy our indispensable work in the European Parliament for freedom, dignity and participation.
Update of 24/03/2021:
Gilles Bordelais has not been elected to the European Parliament. Neither would he replace Patrick Breyer MEP because he is no longer a member of the German Pirate Party which excludes him from replacement.