Whether it’s the cost, the environmental impact or the disruption to operating the organisation, the continuation of two locations for the European Parliament has few friends.
The friends it does have, who think it’s a sensible way of spending time and money to shuttle one institution back and forth between Brussels and Strasbourg, are very tenacious though. Yet as a result the obvious waste of these arrangements continues to overshadow the steps the European Parliament does take to cut waste elsewhere.
As a result, progress has been slow, but another step has been taken as London Lib Dem MEP Sarah Ludford has reported:
London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed the endorsement by a majority of MEPs for the European Parliament to end the ‘travelling circus’ to Strasbourg in favour of one permanent seat, which would be in Brussels.
Voting on EU budget guidelines for 2013, MEPs also decided to freeze their own allowances until mid-2014 and cap their travel budget at its present level in line with their demand that all EU institutions cut their administrative spending.
MEPs have sent another strong protest about the pollution, cost and sheer folly of the European Parliament’s split seat. The 1.3 million people who signed up to the OneSeat petition in 2007 have been ignored by EU governments, the only ones who can change things. But Europe’s public today cannot be ignored against a backdrop of economic crisis and pressing environmental concerns.
With Denmark which currently holds the EU Presidency supportive of one Parliamentary seat in Brussels, I hope for some real movement on this issue.