European Parliament Strasbourg cost revelations a cause for serious concern - de Brún
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today responded to the revelations that the French city of Strasbourg has been overcharging the European Parliament up to €2.7 million a year in rent for as long 25 years.
Speaking from Brussels Ms de Brún said:
"These revelations are a cause for serious concern and can only serve to increase calls for the European Parliament's work to be carried out solely in Brussels.
"For one week every month, MEPs, their staff and a sizeable section of the EU's bureaucracy relocate to Strasbourg at tremendous expense. It has previously been estimated that the practice of moving back and forth between Strasbourg and Brussels consumes between 15% and 20% of the Parliament's 1,272 million euro annual budget.
"The European Parliament in Strasbourg is a modern and fully functioning building for only one week per month. When the last staff member has left on a Thursday night and all of the lights are switched off, the building effectively shuts down until the following month. Sinn Féin has consistently called for the European Parliament's operations to be centralised to prevent such financial wastage.
"The European Parliament will debate and vote this week on the discharge of the EU budget for 2004. We must use this opportunity to send a strong signal of concern about the revelations that the French city of Strasbourg has been overcharging the European Parliament up to €2.7 million a year in rent for as long 25 years." ENDS