House Speaker Vera Bergkamp has “limited” options for addressing integrity issues within a political group. “There is no relationship of authority between a deputy and the president of the Chamber”, she responds to the revelations of this news site about the Forum for Democracy.
Marcia Nieuwenhuis, Tobias den Hartog
According to former employees, Thierry Baudet’s political party had for years an intimidating, toxic and unsafe work atmosphere. Former FvD members who spoke negatively about the party were threatened with huge fines of up to 170,000 euros. But there are testimonials to a movie about sex, alcohol, bullying and racism.
House Speaker Vera Bergkamp stresses that it is “important that everyone can safely do their jobs in the House of Representatives.” “Integrity problems within a group are primarily the responsibility of the group itself,” she emphasizes. “The instruments of the President of the Chamber and the Presidium are limited in this regard. There is no relationship of authority between a Member of Parliament and the Speaker of the House.”
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According to Bergkamp, the House of Representatives regularly provides information to the residents of the rooms, as the employees of the House of Representatives are called. ,,So they know where to go with problems”. It also deals ‘within the possibilities we have to ensure a safe working environment in the Chamber of Deputies’.
In addition, he says that he is analyzing “what improvements can be made in a general sense to have and maintain a safe working environment in the House of Representatives.”
On June 16, 2022 – almost ten months ago – Bergkamp, together with the secretary of the House of Representatives, launched “a broad independent investigation into social security among deputies, party employees and officials” in the House of Representatives. Representatives.
A research and consultancy agency affiliated with Utrecht University’s Department of Public Administration and Organizational Sciences (USBO) is conducting the research. It was supposed to be ready in February this year, but Bergkamp is now expecting the results on April 17. He should also paint a picture of the current working climate in the House of Representatives. According to the president of the Chamber, the recommendations and results should “provide a basis” for possibly further improving social security policy.
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