Support Grows To End Strasbourg Gravy Train

14 June 2007
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed the support of hisfellow MEPs to end the use of the Strasbourg Parliament.

A poll conducted by the Campaign for Parliament Reform (CPR) has revealed an overwhelming majority, 89%, of MEPs not only want one permanent seat for the European Parliament but also that 81% want the seat to be in Brussels and not Strasbourg.

84% also believed the Parliament should be able to decide on the location of its seat, currently not allowed under EU law.The Parliament is due to meet in Strasbourg next week, with the monthlytrip costing European citizens 200 million Euros a year.

Mr Smith, who is a member of the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform, said:

"This is the first time MEPs have clearly expressed their views vote and the results can hardly be seen as a shock. To be forced to travel to a second Parliament twelve times a year, at a cost of hundreds of millions of Euros, is indefensible.There is a perfectly good parliament in Brussels. As well as the cost we should also be looking at the carbon emissions generated by the monthly travelling circus between Brussels and Strasbourg. That must surely be enough to justify an end to this farce.

"Over one million EU citizens signed the petition, to end the use of Strasbourg as a Parliament. There should be immediate reform of the way in which the European Parliament operates. The European Council must now take action to end the monthly gravy train to Strasbourg.

"I have written to every national leader across Europe calling for achange to the present situation. Those who are desperately clinging on to the status quo have a duty to respect the wishes of Europe's citizens and its elected representatives.

"I congratulate all those who have signed up to the campaign and I hopethat it will figure prominently on the European Council's agenda."