EU states must support end to 'travelling circus'
London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has joined a majority of MEPs in again demanding a single workplace for Euro-MPs instead of the absurd trek between Brussels and Strasbourg that they are currently condemned to because of decisions by the 27 EU governments.
MEPs made the call during a vote on the EU's spending in 2010. A single seat for the European Parliament in Brussels would save around £145 million (€180 million) a year on the EU budget.
EU Member States continue to veto a single seat for the European Parliament which would mean scrapping the Euro-Parliament's monthly trek to Strasbourg. Only they have the power to do so by amending EU treaties. France and Luxembourg have even sued in the EU court (European Court of Justice) to annul the Parliament’s modest decision to merge two Strasbourg sessions into one trip; the hearing of the case is due to start on June 5th.
Sarah Ludford commented:
"Today MEPs have once again made it crystal clear that Member States must stop opposing the single seat for the European Parliament."
"It is time to stop the hypocritical extravagance of national governments. It beggars belief that they are challenging MEPs' decision to limit wasteful trips to Strasbourg while rightly wanting us to make substantial savings to the budget."
"I hope that the European Court of Justice will put further pressure on Member States to use their powers to give the European Parliament a single seat in Brussels and lift the burden on hard-pressed taxpayers."
Note to editors:
All amendments to the 2010 EU general budget discharge calling for a single seat of the European Parliament were passed in the plenary vote on May 10th.
Sarah’s petition can be signed here: http://www.sarahludfordmep.org.uk/petition_one_seat