Smith Nominates Anti-Strasbourg Campaign For EU Prize

25 September 2008

SNP Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has today (Thursday) caused consternation in certain circles by using "The Parliament"s Prize" designed to honour those who have made a pro-EU contribution by nominating "the oneseat campaign" which seeks to site the European Parliament permanently in Brussels, ditching the wasteful monthly trek to Strasbourg. Smith's action comes at the end of a plenary week in Brussels where MEPs have, instead of going to Strasbourg and wasting time, money and carbon, been in Brussels because the roof of the Strasbourg building remains under repair.

It was announced yesterday to Smith's dismay that the October plenary session will be in Strasbourg. Mr Smith has already proposed by heartfelt letter to the Parliament President (attached) to rename the Brussels chamber "Strasbourg" as a novel way to comply with the strict letter of treaty EU law obliging the Parliament to commute.

Smith said:

"My initial exasperation when I received the nomination form for yet another pointless self indulgent Parliament prize about nothing in particular turned to a mischievous glee at the notion that I could nominate the oneseat campaign. Despite being so sensible and so constructive the campaign is so clearly out of favour with the Parliament's hierarchy. I have suggested to a number of other MEPs that we all nominate the campaign as another way to protest about our inefficient, costly and wasteful monthly commute.

"My heart sinks at the prospect of returning to Strasbourg in October. The last two plenary sessions have been more productive, more enjoyable, less costly and we have emitted nothing like the carbon we would have done had we continued the commute. Estimates vary and the Parliament authorities are being rather less than transparent, but by my reckoning €34million (€17m a session) is not an unreasonable guess at how much the taxpayer has saved each week.

"I understand a number of other MEPs are following my call to nominate oneseat and thank them for their support. A clear majority of MEPs want to rid the Parliament of the Strasbourg trek and I am of the view that only direct action will force this onto the agenda of the member states."