It’s not uncommon for lawmakers to howl at each other during tense sessions in the European Parliament, but at Wednesday’s plenary meeting actual barking momentarily interrupted the proceedings.
Shortly after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen concluded a speech to the body, a dog’s barking rang out in the hemicycle, prompting confused looks among lawmakers including Renew Europe group Chair Stéphane Séjourné and the European People’s Party’s Dolors Montserrat.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, meanwhile, couldn’t contain her laughter. “Dear colleagues, we must have a support animal in the house,” she said, breaking into giggles.
The barks ringing out during a session attended by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made the situation all the more absurd. In Spain, the Socialist leader is jokingly referred to as Perro Sanxe — “Sánchez the dog” — a nickname that emphasizes his canny, underdog qualities.
Sánchez could be seen grinning as the dog’s barks continued during the session, interrupting a speech in which European People’s Party’s President Manfred Weber attempted to hound the Spaniard for his deals with Catalan separatists.
Socialist MEP Eider Gardiazabal Rubial joked that the barking dog, which apparently belonged to a visually impaired visitor, had expressed his feelings at just the right moment.
Carles Pug-demont was unavailable for comment.
Eddy Wax contributed reporting.