According to the EU Treaties the European Parliament has to convene for plenary session twelve times a year in Strasbourg, France. The majority of the Parliament’s work is however done in Brussels, where also all the other EU-institutions’ headquarters are placed. The cost of travelling between the cities is around €180 million and causes around 19 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. To end this circus, a change in the Treaty is required, which only can be done by a unanimous decision by all Member states in the European Council.
In the Parliament an active campaign for a a single seat inBrusselsis taking place and in October the Parliament adopted its’ strongest position thus far against having to travel toStrasbourgevery month. In the budget 2013 resolution the Parliament says that theStrasbourgquestion has to be discussed still this year and practical preparations for the move has to be done.
– The Parliament’s message is clear: now it is time for member states to take responsibility and to stop this lunacy. Strasbourg’s symbolical importance for peace inEuropeis not to be understated, but the symbolism cannot be a barrier for common sense, says Nils Torvalds, Member of the European Parliament.
Even in the Council voices are raised for a revision of the Treaty.
Minister of Defence in Finland, the President of Swedish People’s Party in Finland, Carl Haglund have said that we cannot afford sending the European Parliament to Strasbourg every month, neither economically nor ecologically.
– It is time to find alternative solutions and the current negotiations concerning the EU:s Multiannual Financial Framework is the right forum for that. I will advocate for the Parliament’s proposition among my colleagues in the Finnish government and in the Council, promises Haglund.