A German-speaking voter asks:
“Why is the European Parliament in Strasbourg and in Brussels?”
“Hi, I’m Dulce Dias, a journalist at Euronews. The European Parliament is in Strasbourg and in Brussels because that is the way it was set up in the Treaties.
“Since the founding of the European Union, the question of its institutions’ headquarters has been hard to manage. Each of the six founder countries wanted to host the main seat of one of the institutions.
“And so, the European Parliament was attributed to Strasbourg, a French city on the border with Germany, to symbolise European reconciliation.
“But with the installation of the European Commission in Brussels in 1958, the capital of Belgium began to gain European political weight. The eurodeputies also began to hold meetings in Brussels, for the parliamentary committees, for example, while continuing to hold the plenary sessions in Strasbourg.
“However, since the 1970s the parliament members have been asking for a single seat, but none of the member states wants what it has acquired to be pried away from it.
“In 1992, at a summit in Edinbourgh, it was made official to establish the parliament in three places: Strasbourg, where 12 monthly plenary sessions are organised, taking three and a half days, and a budgetary session; Brussels, where the working committees meet and additional plenary sessions are held; and Luxembourg, where the secretariate general and other services are installed.
“In 1997, a protocol was added to the Treaty of Amsterdam. It confirmed the Edinbourgh Council agreement and it remains in effect.”