MEPs Say No To Strasbourg

18 July 2011
Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament has co-signed a letter to the French Secretary of State, which calls on France to officially recognise the overall majority of MEPs who favour a single seat of Parliament in Brussels, and ending the monthly commute to Strasbourg.
France insists that MEPs must stick to 12 Strasbourg sessions a year, required by the EU's Lisbon Treaty. Changing the EU treaty would require the unanimous agreement of all 27 Member State governments. It is not clear how many would back France in the dispute.

Alyn said:

"This travelling circus between Brussels and Strasbourg costs €200 million a year. It is an unforgivable waste of time and money when we could be using it for something far, far more useful and worthwhile. It's not only the public that think this is a waste: most MEPs - though holding nothing against Strasbourg itself - don't like the monthly migration either.

"The one reason we are still forced to go to Strasbourg is because the only way it can be stopped is if the leaders of all 27 Member States agree, and sadly I do not see France changing its current stance without significant pressure. I can only hope that the mounting pressure from MEPs and the general public will lead to Paris eventually seeing sense and giving in.

"There is nothing in the Strasbourg Parliament that we don't already have in Brussels; in fact it is quite the opposite. I am positive that a suitable alternative use can be found for the Parliament building, one which allows Strasbourg to retain its special place in the European political sphere."