Sarah Ludford opposed plans to refurbish MEP offices

Good to see a Liberal Democrat MEP taking up this cause in a press release:

Liberal Democrat London MEP Sarah Ludford has called for the blocking of plans by European Parliament bosses known as the ‘bureau’ to spend £26 million (€30 million) on improving MEP offices in the Parliament’s Strasbourg building.

The Parliament is currently obliged under the EU treaties – fixed by the 27 national governments – to sit in both Brussels and Strasbourg in a ‘travelling circus’. But in June a majority of MEPs voted in favour of maintaining a single seat in Brussels, which would save 19,000 tonnes of CO2 every year as well as a great deal of money, given that  the estimated cost of maintaining Strasbourg is €180 million a year.

Sarah Ludford said:

“The powers-that-be in this place need their heads examining! There is zero justification for spending huge sums on this crazy project in the context of a massive European financial crisis as well as a preference by most MEPs to get out of Strasbourg.”

“Instead of upgrading Strasbourg we must put big pressure on member states to end this huge waste by allowing us to have one home in Brussels. I will push for the European Parliament’s budget committee to block this stupid plan.”

You can back the campaign for a single seat for the European Parliament here. It’s a cause the government is committed to, by the way, as it features in the Coalition Agreement.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.
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5 Comments

  • Fantastic – having two seats is a waste of money and the environment as mentioned, but almost as importantly a total waste of time for the MEPs and their staff moving between the two when I hope they’d have better things to be doing.

  • Is there a quoracy rule in the European parliament? What would happen if a majority of MEPs simply refused to go?

  • Hywel, my undestanding is that the treaty requirements could be met by the President and a few members rocking up in Strasbourg on January 1st, opening and closing twelve very brief, minute long sessions, and then catching the next train back to Brussels.

    This is a radical extension of the twist that they’re already doing to have two sessions in Strasbourg in September, and none in August.

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