Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson is supporting the campaign for a ‘Single Seat’ location for the European Parliament.
Martina Anderson said:
“Whatever the original rationale for split location sittings of the European Parliament it is not feasible in the present economic conditions. In these times of forced austerity measures by the EU on ordinary people, there can be no justification for the waste of €180million on the entire apparatus of the EU Parliament having to travel to Strasbourg for 48 days a year (four days a month) to fulfil an outdated rationale.
“The European Parliament has three places of work: Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. The home of the European Parliament is in Brussels (Belgium), which is where all the other key EU bodies - the European Commission, the External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Council – and member states representatives, journalists, trade unionists, lobbyists and civil society - are also based.
“However, the official 'seat' of the European Parliament enshrined in Treaty and chosen for historic reasons, is in Strasbourg (France), and the entire European Parliament is obliged by the EU governments to trek there for 12 four-day sessions a year. Maintaining Strasbourg and the administrative offices in Luxembourg comes at an extra cost of an estimated €180 million.
“In March 2011 MEP’s voted to hold two plenary sessions of two days each in the same week in October rather than the scheduled two separate four day sessions in one month. Despite this democratic decision by the elected representative of the European people, France and Luxembourg opposed this by taking the European Parliament to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). A ruling by the Court is not expected until after the 2012 October double session.
“For this reason I am supporting the ‘Single Seat’ campaign.”