Lost in EUrope!

Das Wall Street Journal berichtet über die Irrwege im Europaparlament

„The European Union has a reputation for being an institutional maze. It doesn’t help that its buildings often turn out to be actual labyrinths, stranding lawmakers, lobbyists and journalists on their way to meetings—and sometimes to their own offices. “I get lost all the time,” says Fabio De Masi, a member of the European Parliament representing Germany’s Left party.

A few weeks after he was elected in May, Mr. De Masi lost his way in the Parliament’s headquarters in Strasbourg, where delegates spend a week every month.

The building’s confusing layout, which from the top looks like a sliced-up mushroom with a glass-and-steel Tower of Babel stuck in the middle, has been known to reduce visitors and employees to tears.

“I was about to start crying, because you have a hundred appointments,” says Mr. De Masi, recalling how he had to call his assistants and describe the color of the walls and shape of the corridors in the hope that they could figure out where he was.

“It was like I was five and got lost at the swimming pool,” says the 34-year-old, admitting that he still isn’t sure whether his Strasbourg office is on the third or the fifth floor.


The experience of getting lost has some lawmakers yearning for more familiar places. Among them is Mr. De Masi, who before becoming an EU lawmaker spent some time working as an assistant in the German Parliament—where he never got lost. “At the Bundestag, everything has some sense and structure,” says Mr. De Masi.

Der Ausschnitt entstammt dem Artikel „A Visit to the European Parliament Leaves Many Amazed“ von Gabriele Steinhauser und Frances Robinson, welcher am 28.12.2014 in der Onlineausgabe des The Wall Street Journal erschienen ist. Der gesamte Artikel kann auf der Webseite des Wall Street Journals abgerufen werden.