Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Petitions committee today - voting on the Single Seat petition

West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire has today voted against the waste of taxpayers’ money of the EU travelling circus to Strasbourg.

As a member of the European Parliaments petition committee, the We Demand a Referendum Now MEP has voted on proposals that seek to reduce the EP to one seat in Brussels. The switch to Strasbourg Parliament is estimated to cost 180 Million Euros per year.

Currently, MEPs have to travel to Strasbourg 12 times a year. The travelling circus involves many trucks transporting goods from the MEPs offices in Brussels over to Strasbourg, (approximately 409 kilometres) and then back again once the week is over. Assistants and other workers from the Parliament all relocate at a massive cost.

The cost of changing the location of the Parliament for those sessions is 180 Million Euros. As well as the ludicrous costs, there is also approximately 19000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. The buildings in Strasbourg are empty for 317 days per year, but are still heated or air conditioned and fully lit.

Every one of the UK’s 73 MEPs is in favour of a single seat for the European Parliament. Overall, 78% of all MEPs in the Parliament want to ditch the travelling circus to Strasbourg. It is only French and Luxembourg MEPs who oppose proposals for a Single Seat.

Today’s Petitions Committee saw MEPs adopt Petitions committee opinion on One Seat proposals.

Nikki Sinclaire MEP says,
“The European Union is the institution that knows nothing about the words austerity. While it dictates to other nations about how their economies should work, the EU fritters away hundreds of millions on switching between two Parliaments.

French MEPs today attempted to add numerous amendments to this opinion in order to protect the French interest in Strasbourg, but I’m happy that these have fallen. British MEPs voted together to stop the extravagance,, but it was interesting to note that the UKIP member of the committee had failed to turn up for work – again.

In times of austerity, it is simply wrong to be wasting taxpayers money on having two seats for the European Parliament. We are accountable to the electorate, and this is a nonsensical state of affairs.

What we were voting on in Petitions Committee Today

I have previously blogged about this topic:

February 2012 - The Travelling Circus that is Strasbourg
December 2012 - EU Court Overules Elected Parliament on Single Seat Issue