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Axe 'travelling circus', MEPs tell EU leaders

brussels bureau

Axe 'travelling circus', MEPs tell EU leaders


The EU should ditch the European Parliament’s costly monthly sittings in Strasbourg, MEPs said in a motion passed on Tuesday.

The EU’s only directly-elected body also convenes in Brussels for a number of meetings.

Four hundred and eighty-three parliamentarians backed the resolution for a single seat, whilst 141 voted against.

British Conservative MEP Ashley MEP has long been a vocal critic of the so-called travelling circus.

“Today’s has been a very successful day, a very good result if you are a tax payer in Europe, because this deal will save you over one billion euros over the next 7 years, and it will also save many thousand of tons of carbon dioxide,” he told reporters in the eastern French city.

But the vote is not binding upon EU leaders The bloc’s treaties say the decision must be taken unanimously by all national governments.

So any change needs the support of France. Yet French politicians are in no hurry to surrender this source of national pride.

“Where should the parliament sit? The parliament sits in Strasbourg, as EU treaties state,” said Sandrine Bélier, a French Green MEP.

“The question doesn’t need to be asked. We know where the European Parliament sits.”

The monthly ferrying of MEPs, staff and documents costs 180 million euros a year, and 19,000 tonnes of CO2.

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brussels bureau