Deaf MEP Running for President Finishes In 3rd Place

January 21, 2017

Update with the Deaf MEP Member of Parliament Helga Stevens — who was one of the candidates to be the president of the European Parliament: she came in third place after three rounds of votes. It’s their rules for a candidate to have an absolute majority to be voted president — and if there’s no clear majority choice after three rounds — then the fourth round will only have the top two candidates. Helga was the third, so she was eliminated. Who won the election? Antonio Tajani from Italy.

The EUD European Union of the Deaf made a very nice video that will show you everything of what it looked like that day for Helga. She gave a presentation in sign language as a candidate in front of the entire assembly — “before all Europe you could say” — and was not afraid to criticize the parliament. She said it was run by an “old boys club,” that a few countries’ leaders tried to control the parliament, that it was not fair and not open, and not representative of the diversity of Europe. She said with her, every voice would matter, that nobody will be left behind. When she finished her speech, everybody applauded — I can’t hear but it looked like it was loud in there. 

At the end of the video, Hegla shared her thoughts — and said she thought she would come around third place, said she was not sad for not winning the presidency because she said her speech inspired many people, that she was able to show that using sign language is not a barrier to being involved in politics, and in a humorous comment, said she was the only candidate that gave her speech within the allocated three-minute time limit — so Deaf people could manage time, as well.

Thank you, EUD, for making this great video. Check it out at the link:




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