This week once again hundreds of MEPs and thousands of staff made the long journey to Strasbourg, costing €180m and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
The week before the beginning of the session we were informed by the Directorate-General for Infrastructure and Logistics that airborne asbestos was discovered in parts of the Winston Churchill building, which houses administration and support facilities.
According to the communication: “tests found that asbestos had been released due to an error during works by a contracting company”.
On Monday, 11 March, we received another communication assuring that decontamination work has been completed and no further trace of asbestos had been detected in the carried out analyses.
This is not the first time that Parliament’s building in Strasbourg had come under the spotlight for health safety reasons:
- In 2002, the building’s water supply was hit by an outbreak of Legionnaires disease. The bacteria, which can cause pneumonia and even death, were discovered after several officials returned ill from Strasbourg.
- In October 2007 large amount of asbestos was discovered in the Winston Churchill bloc and the Salvador de Madariaga unit. Parliament’s officials claimed the amount found is limited to certain areas; therefore did not pose a health risk.
- On 7 August 2008, about 10% of the ceiling in the plenary chamber collapsed. Thankfully, we had no meeting at the time and no one was injured as a result.
- Safety nets continue to “decorate” many corridors. These nets can still be found in the plenary hall five years after the collapse of the ceiling..
Cracks are evident in many parts of the building, inclusively in the floor and on the interior staircases.
Given the fact we are obliged by the EU treaty to meet in Strasbourg 12 times a year, I truly believe that working in a refurbished and safe environment should not be too much to expect…
Following my last post on the subject (https://lidiageringer.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/a-cracking-parliament/) I am adding new pictures from our secondary working place.
Greetings from the European Parliament,
Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg