LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott – End the European Parliament’s “travelling circus”

EU Parliament Brussels - Some rights reserved by PoetografieEdward McMillan-Scott MEP is the only British Vice-President of the European Parliament and has been leading the campaign for a single seat for the European Parliament. On the British Influence website he writes:

For four days each month, the European Parliament leaves its working base in Brussels, the EU’s political capital, and descends on Strasbourg, its official ‘Seat’ for debates and votes. In addition, half of the Parliament’s staff work in Luxembourg. This arrangement costs €180 million and 19,000 tonnes of C02 every year – €1.2 billion over the EU’s 7 year long-term budget.

Twelve EU governments wrote this arrangement into the EU treaty a generation ago, for historic reasons. Since I launched the Single Seat campaign in 2010, MEPs have voted repeatedly and consistently to end the ‘travelling circus.’

… Since 2007, 1.27 million citizens have signed the One Seat petition, demanding the European Parliament have a Single Seat in Brussels.

As France holds a veto over any Treaty change, EU governments have until now refused to begin negotiations.

He continues:

But under the new Lisbon Treaty, signed in 2007, MEPs now have powers to propose Treaty change. Tomorrow, the Single Seat campaign will bring together MEPs, member state representatives, senior EU officials and other European political figures in order to begin work on the Roadmap for a Single Seat, a final version of which must be delivered by EU governments on 30 June 2013.

You can read the full article here.


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This entry was posted in LibLink and News.


  • Is there anybody who thinks it is a good idea to have two seats for the European Parliament?

  • Surely the issues of the Strasbourg parliament and that of the administration in Luxembourg are quite separate. Do we moan that much of the UK civil service is outside London? I do not think there is an issue of MEPs having to rush off to Luxembourg periodically.

    Another issue is the rotating presidency: it costs undoubtedly, but how do we weigh that against the democratic and representational benefits? So far as it is practicable, I am in favour of spreading the administration out of the centre.

    Mcmillan-Scott has written that Strasbourg should house its own EU institution, yet he makes no suggestions. So far as I am aware France is not home for any EU institution, aside from the Strasbourg parliament, which is actually a building rather than an institution. I am not sure why this is the case.

    A radical technological proposal would be to facilitate virtual attendance, contribution and voting for MEPs in parliament.

  • Helen Dudden 23rd Apr '13 - 10:08pm

    For sometime I have been trying to get interest into the problems of child abduction and child access under the Brussels Regulation and the Hague Convention.

    The price that is paid for legal action in some of the countries runs into £10,000 plus. I ask for the situation to be looked into and helped with the Task Force as suggested by Freshfields, back in 2006. That was a pro bono report.

    All I can say is that there is money to spend on some things, yet not on others. I won’t say to waste that would be thoughtless.

    Mr. McMillan-Scott, would you not agree to my comments?

  • It does seem wasteful – given EU expansion though the arguments for Strasbourg surely wane (although it is a very lovely city) unless the Parliament also moves around to other key borders.
    Brussels is as good a base as any I can think of, but Bratislava would be cheaper, and perhaps more central for the ‘new ‘ Europe

  • I always thought that when Romania acceded the entire EU governement should have been moved to the People Palace created by Ceaucescu, thereby at a single stroke moving the ‘centre’ eastwards, bringing a much needed economic boost to the region, and giving MEPs, Commissioners, and national government representatives, a real understanding of the reality of the new Europe.

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