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European Parliament bans Amazon from its premises

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The European Parliament decided to ban Amazon representatives from accessing its buildings on Tuesday (27 February), due to multiple events where the global retailing giant did not attend meetings requested by members of the European Parliament, the European Parliament press service confirmed Euractiv.

“In line with rule 123/3 and at the request of the [Employment and Social Affairs] Committee, the Quaestors have authorised the Secretary General [Alessandro Chiocchetti] to withdraw the long-term access badges of the interest representatives of Amazon.

It is now the responsibility of the secretary general to concretely initiate the process of withdrawing their badges and to determine the duration of the ban, a European Parliament source close to the matter told Euractiv.

Last week, there was already a majority among European Parliament political groups to proceed with such a decision, stated a note from the Conference of Presidents, seen by Euractiv.

The ban was eventually finalised by the quaestors, who oversee European Parliament administrative matters, namely, the lawmakers Victor Negrescu, Fabienne Keller, and Marcel Kolaja.

“We are very disappointed with this decision, as we want to engage constructively with policymakers. […] Our commitment continues despite this decision,” an Amazon spokesperson told Euractiv.

“Amazon regularly participates in activities organized by the European Parliament and other EU institutions – including Parliamentary hearings – and we remain committed to participating in balanced, constructive dialogue on issues that affect European citizens,” the spokesperson said.

In early February, the European Parliament committee on employment and social affairs (EMPL) sent a letter to President Roberta Metsola complaining about Amazon’s behaviour towards the EU institution.

According to the EMPL chair Dragos Pîslaru, who signed the letter, the US e-commerce company refuses to attend more than one meeting with EU lawmakers to discuss the condition of Amazon workers.

In the letter, the parliamentary committee demanded a withdrawal of Amazon representatives’ badges, so they cannot access European Parliament premises.

“[I]n light of Amazon’s repeated refusal to attend EMPL hearings, we would like to request that appropriate measures be put in place to withdraw access badges to the European Parliament’s premises for registered Amazon’s interest representatives,” Pîslaru pointed out.

Four cases are mentioned in the letter. The first occurred in May 2021, when Amazon did not attend a parliamentary committee meeting on “Amazon attacks on fundamental workers’ rights and freedoms: freedom of assembly and association, and the right to collective bargain and action”.

The second event concerns the refusal by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to attend an exchange of views with EU lawmakers – instead, the company sent a written answer.

The last two episodes happened in December 2023 and January 2024. In the former event, Amazon refused access to its facilities in German and Poland to a MEP, while on the latter, the company did not attend another parliamentary committee meeting dedicated to Amazon workers’ conditions.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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