Critics of new rules affecting the European Parliament’s freelance interpreters – who represent the majority of interpreters – warn these will negatively impact the quality of delegates’ work.

More specifically, the Secretary General of the European Parliament has decided to increase the working hours of all freelance interpreters from seven to eight. Also, they must be available from 8am to 9pm. This means they must be in the Parliament the entire day, since their services can be requested at different times of the day (from 9am to 11am and then from 12pm to 1pm and again from 4pm to 6pm).

According to critics, the result is that the new working rules create problems to the functioning of the parliamentary committees. The Environment Committee, for instance, has already decided to start its meetings a half hour earlier.