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European Parliament - time to end the costly travelling circus?

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By Euronews
European Parliament - time to end the costly travelling circus?

<p>It is a symbol of post-war reconciliation. The European Parliament is built along the border of Europe’s once bitterest of enemies from wars that killed millions. </p> <p>It is part of the reconciliation between France and Germany to share power as an engine behind the European Union, with Germany having the seat of the European Central bank. </p> <p>However, it is also very costly, estimated at over 200 million euros a year to maintain the complex of buildings and to transport more than 700 <span class="caps">MEP</span>s, thousands of staff and tonnes of materials 400 kilometres from Brussels – it is known as the travelling circus.</p> <p>In times of tight budgets, calls are rising to shut down the Strasbourg parliament. </p> <p>The French government insists the two seat concept is enshrined in treaties sharing institutions across the EU. Some fear revamping those treaties would re-open a political Pandora’s box, sparking conflict over who gets what institution. </p> <p>Others say shutting Strasbourg would be a strong symbolic gesture of solidarity with those hurting from budget cuts and would fight the image many Europeans have of a wasteful EU.</p> <p>Wired into this edition of The Network is Rainer Wieland, Vice President of the European Parliament and a member of the <span class="caps">EPP</span> group, he supports the parliament being in Strasbourg.</p> <p>Also on the programme, Edward McMillan-Scott who is Vice President of the European Parliament and a member of the <span class="caps">ALDE</span> group as well as co-chair of the ‘Single Seat’ campaign. </p> <p>Jonathan Isaby is The Network’s final guest. He is Political Director of the Tax Payers’ Alliance, which wants the parliament to be based only in Brussels. </p> <p><strong>Click on the video link above to find out what they have to say</strong></p>