During a significant plenary session at the European Parliament, an unexpected yet enthusiastic participant briefly stole the spotlight. As per Times of Malta, an eager dog added its voice to the proceedings on Dec. 13, momentarily halting the European Parliament with their spirited barking.
The dog’s surprising vocal interruption followed the speech of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Seemingly pro-European, the pup started barking right after she concluded her address with the words, “long live Europe.”
Consequently, laughter erupted among the European lawmakers, along with confused glances. Everybody seemed to be wondering about the source of the humorous interruption.
Dog dubbed supporter of Ursula von der Leyen
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola acknowledged the presence of a support animal within the assembly.
Metsola addressed fellow parliamentarians, saying, “Dear colleagues, it seems we have a support animal among us.” She then introduced European People’s Party (EPP) President Manfred Weber, chuckling again.
What’s more, Weber humorously commented after stepping up on the podium that the dog appeared to be “another supporter and admirer of Ursula von der Leyen.”
As Politico reports, the barking during a session with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez heightened the absurdity of the incident. In Spain, the playful nickname “Perro Sanxe” or “Sánchez the dog” highlights the Socialist leader’s shrewd and resilient underdog characteristics.
Sánchez was visibly amused, sporting a grin as the dog’s barks disrupted European People’s Party President Manfred Weber’s speech. Weber, in his remarks, was scrutinizing the Spaniard for his dealings with Catalan separatists.
Socialist MEP Eider Gardiazabal Rubial jokingly remarked that the barking dog, seemingly belonging to a visually impaired visitor, had perfectly timed its expression of sentiments.
Although received flippantly, the incident might cast a shadow on the hopes of other animals longing to accompany their owners into the spaces of the European political arena, according to Times of Malta. Since March 2023, the European Commission has been contemplating a trial “bring-your-pet-to-work” policy. However, after Wednesday’s events, this motion could encounter a decrease in its supporters.