In an email sent to the staff of the European Parliament yesterday, the institution’s Secretary General, Klaus Welle, asked staffers to contribute some money so that the Parliament can make a gesture in helping efforts to rebuild the iconic cathedral which suffered a devastating fire the day before.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani had already asked Members of the European Parliament to contribute as well.

Every little bit counts when it comes doing something good for society, but it wasn’t all rainbows after the Secretary-General’s email was sent.

Welle’s email was met with some support, but mostly criticism from staffers who commented that so much has been pledged for Notre-Dame already, and that this kind of action has not happened on his initiative in many other cases where funding was much more critically needed, including natural disasters which resulted in larger scale devastation and deaths of Europeans.

Welle’s email reads:

Dear colleagues,

Following the devastating fire of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, President TAJANI has invited Members to make a donation to contribute to the reconstruction works.

Notre-Dame is an iconic symbol of European civilisation.

If you would like to make a gesture to demonstrate our solidarity you can use the collection box placed outside the Chamber in Strasbourg and Brussels as well as in the entrance hall of the ADENAUER building in Luxembourg.

Best regards,

Klaus Welle
Secretary-General of the European Parliament


Welle, is in a difficult political position at the moment, with rumours already circulating in Brussels about his swift replacement after the elections.

Suitors for his throne have already lined up, with echos of at least two Directors-General who have led a long career of service to the Parliament already being discussed for the position.

Many count on Welle to be able to carry out the necessary horse-trading that will be necessary to keep all the political groups happy after the elections, but critics suggest that Welle has burnt much political capital already.