Nico speaks in the European Parliament plenary hall in Strasbourg. He’s wearing a black hoodie covered with logos of different consultancy companies.Mathieu Cugnot / European Parliament

About Nico

Nico Semsrott has failed his way to the top in his career as demotivational coach. Called the "saddest comedian in the world," he had learned through poetry slams, solo performances and YouTube videos how to make people enthusiastic for depressing topics. And because nothing is more depressing than politicians who do satire, he then decided to go on the counter-attack and do politics as a satirist. In the 2019 European elections, Nico, as Die PARTEI's candidate for Commission President, made his way into the European Parliament. "The EU is in a deep crisis," he declared, "and so am I."

Transparency

Politicians have inside information. The less they share of it, the less citizens have an idea of what their representatives are doing. And the harder it is for them make the right decision come the next election. This is why Nico is making public all of his expenses. Further steps will follow. More transparency = more democracy.

Lobby Meetings

Show overview

General Expenditure Allowance

Show overview

Merchandise Profits

Show overview

FAQ

Nico receives too many messages. Please check before writing him whether your question has already been answered in the FAQ!

Nico Semsrott is sitting in his office. He has a telephone up to each ear while two more are being held out to him.Genevieve Engel / European Parliament

How many hoodies does Nico own?

More than 15. He's began to lose count. In a forgotten corner of his office there is a coat-hanger buried under black hoodies. Still, Nico only wears only one of them: his favorite hoodie.

Does Nico have a girlfriend?

Nico refuses to answer this question and is under the impression that his team only included it to flatter him. He doesn't think anyone would actually want to know this.

Is Nico serious?

Nico asks himself this same question every day and is sometimes not so sure of the answer himself.

How can I support Nico?

First of all by subscribing to his various social media channels (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), and by liking and sharing his content. Nico also gets excited (secretly) when you buy his political and not-so-political propaganda, because he interprets it as a signal that you like his work. Profits from merchandise sales do not go to Nico, but rather to charitable organizations. To find out which ones exactly, take a look at the page of each product on Krasser Stoff.

Nico and his team are hard at work to create more opportunities for working together.

Why is Nico doing in politics?

Because democracy and accountability only work when there is an interested public. So far, the EU's brand of unintentional satire has failed to interest the public. Nico is now giving it a try with intentional satire.

Why did the Greens join Nico?

The main reason was to weaken the fascists within the Identity and Democracy group (ID), to which the Alternative for Germany (AfD) belongs. With Nico on board with the Greens, the Nazis have been knocked down from the fourth-largest to the fifth-largest group in the European Parliament. This means that they receive fewer speaking rights and committee seats. This situation is only provisional and will last as long as all members stay where they are now.

Another reason has to do with infrastructure. There are logistical benefits to being able to work with colleagues in the group.

Why does Nico vote the way he does?

It's mostly "monkey see monkey do." Nico follows the votes of his group, the Greens/EFA.

Nico made a conscious decision to do this. He was not elected to deal with the details of legislation, but rather to promote transparency and awareness of what is going on in the EU. This is what he stands for (even when he is laying down).

This is how the votes go: In the European Parliament, they are held in rapid succession, often in ten-second intervals during an uninterrupted one-hour session. And even every non-binding resolution is made up of several pages, on top of which multiple pages of proposed amendments are added.

It is impossible for a single MEP to keep up with it all, or to fully understand the issue at hand. The honest answer is that Nico does not know in detail what he is voting on. And he is certain that the same could be said of all other representatives.

It is all so complex and multi-faceted that Nico would need dozens of staff to examine everything that is up for vote. Fortunately, in the Green/EFA group there are experts for every policy area that deal intensively with certain topics. Without a voting-list prepared and printed out by the political group, nobody would be able to vote correctly, because they all would be too busy trying to read the details.

Sometimes Nico sees the need for representative representative democracy. In situations like this, he would gladly let himself to be represented by a representative of a representative of the people. And then he will vote his own way when it is clear that the result will be close.

Nico makes up 1/751 of the parliament, meaning his vote counts for 0.13 percent of the total. You can spin this however you like, but this is not much power. This is why most of his votes are purely symbolic. His voice, given the current (overwhelmingly neoliberal) majority, is not at all decisive. That's just how it is.

What does Nico think about the following issues?

  • Decriminalizing all drugs
  • Universal basic income
  • Free, European-wide public transport

He is open to it all, and thinks they are all are worth trying out. In general it is worth trying out everything possible, and seeing whether it works.

The EU has enough money to experiment with basic income and, if its successful, introduce it everywhere.

What were Nico's main campaign promises?

  1. 60 videos in 60 months (=make people interested in the EU, and in so doing, bring public oversight to the EU)
  2. Introduce democracy to the EU
  3. Slap climate change deniers with a maximum penalty (revocation of driver's license)

What is the status of his other campaign promises?

  • Live off of the free food provided at lobby events: ✅. Result: Technically possible, morally difficult.
  • Wear his hoody in the parliament: ✅
  • Ensure gender equality in the office: currently four women and three men. Plus Nico. ✅ (As of: 08.11.2019)
  • Advocate for transparency

What has Nico accomplished so far?

  • Took his badge photo with his hood on.
  • Prevented Manfred Weber from becoming Commission President.
  • Before the election: Used Twitter to force the CDU to take down all of its stolen videos from its YouTube channel.

When is Nico's next performance?

At the moment there are no solo performances planned. Booking requests are not being accepted for now. Appearances as a demotivational trainer on the "heute show" are not allowed during Nico’s mandate, per ZDF rules.

Can I have Nico's autograph?

Yes. You can buy one here for a good cause. Nico would like to add: Can I be honest? I don't understand why people collect autographs as a hobby. But fine. If I'm going to sign autographs, then I'm at least going to do it with style. And if this requires work from me, then it will at least be for money and a good cause.

Can Nico come visit us? Does Nico accept invitations?

For now, no. Nico's constituency is the Internet and he visits it regularly through his social media channels. Plus, he was on tour for twelve years and has seen more of central Europe than he would like to have. The very thought of going back on tour wears him out.

Can Nico draw attention to something for me?

Nico does not want to be lobbied. He knows very well that there are thousands of issues that receive too little attention. But Nico and his team decide for themselves which topics to deal with. When they choose one and need help understanding it better, they will approach the experts they deem fit.

Why is the plenary hall always empty?

Because the MEPs are working the entire time. It is a good thing that the plenary hall is empty. This is because everything happens at once during the plenary weeks: In plenary there are pronouncements, while the actual work takes place simultaneously in working groups, committees and political group meetings.

This means that while a few dozen people sit in the plenary hall to speak about the subjects that they especially care about, hundreds of other MEPs are sitting in other meetings.

The only exception: The plenary hall is full during the votes that usually take place once a day during plenary weeks.

From a PR perspective, it is extremely dumb that the parliament shows the empty plenary hall without explaining why no one is there.

How often is Nico in the parliament?

For the first time in his life, Nico has a normal five-day work-week. He goes every day to the parliament, regardless of whether it is a committee week in Brussels, a plenary week in Strasbourg, or a "green week" when the other MEPs visit their constituencies (or play hooky).

When is Nico in Strasbourg and when is he in Brussels?

The European Parliament has an ugly and confusing calendar. To help you make sense of it: Four red days in a row indicate a plenary week in Strasbourg. Green weeks mean that MEPs are visiting their constituencies. White means the parliament is empty. The rest takes place in Brussels.

Can Nico do something for us?

Probably not. Even though Nico is a demotivational coach, he secretly admires the work being done by so many idealistic young people and would like very much to support it (he means this without any irony: You're all great, keep it up!), he just doesn't have the energy. Nico is often flooded with requests and is simply overwhelmed by it all. Unfortunately he also lacks the energy to fulfill individual autograph requests (generic autographs here), send out greeting messages and meet with visitor groups. Nico cares about reaching as many people as possible, even if only in a modest way. Hm, does this make sense? Let's put this another way: If Nico had the choice to either reach 100,000 people virtually or a visitor group of 20 more intensely, he would rather invest his time in the video with 100,000 viewers. He hopes you understand.

Can I get in touch with Nico personally?

No. As mentioned, Nico is simply in over his head. He can only be reached through his office address above. Sometimes his team will respond.

How much does Nico earn?

A lot. There will be a video in the coming months that adds it all up.

Contact us

Nico receives too many messages. Please check before writing him whether your question has already been answered above in the FAQ. In case you still would like to write us a message, please state the reason why. This helps us to be able to process your message as quickly as possible.

Support with depression

If you are dealing with depression, or fear that you might be, the most important thing is that you let other people in on your thoughts. Nico and his team are not trained specialists. However, they do want to ensure that your message does not go unheard. This is why they have put together a page with emergency contacts and ask you to take a look at the information provided.

Please select

Press

In case of press-related requests, please get in contact with Nico's press officer:

Isabel Prößdorf
press@president2019.eu

Public domain photos are available on the EP's Multimedia Center.