MEPs want to decide when and where to meet. We have repeated this statement on many occasions and now we are acting upon our words.
On June 2013 colleagues Ashley Fox (ECR) and Gerald Häfner (Greens), presented in the committee on Constitutional Affairs an own-initiative report on the location of the seats of the European Institutions.
The report calls for a treaty change that will allow the European Parliament to determine its own working place.
Complementing the report, Alexander Alvaro (ALDE) drafted the opinion on behalf of the committee on Budgets. Today (26/9) the committee approved the opinion by a majority of 17 votes in favour, 14 against and no abstentions.
The adopted document puts particular emphasis on the financial aspect of the seat issue and asks that the Parliament’s administration to conduct an analysis of the savings that could be achieved if the Parliament had only one workplace.
A surprising turn emerged from the S&D group. Traditionally the group avoided taking a stand on the seat issue due to the split between the members on the actual location of the institutions (pro-Strasbourg/pro-Brussels).
Yet the S&D members of the Budget Committee who were present at the vote today (with the exclusion of the French members) voted in the same line as the pro-single seat members, in favour of one seat.
The successful vote follows another positive result on the same report (Giles Chichester as Rapporteur) in the committee on Petitions.
In the vote that took place on 17 September the committee on Petitions adopted the opinion by a majority of 16 MEPs, with 7 against and 4 abstentions.
The adopted document rejected many amendments that attempted to delete the mentioning of the One Seat petition, signed by 1.27m European citizens, and to end further discussions of the issue in the committee.
These two votes clearly demonstrate the actions we are taking to act upon the statement mentioned above.
Next, on 14 October the main report on the locations of the institutions will be voted in the committee on Constitutional Affairs. The report is expected to be put to a plenary vote in the November session.
The adoption of the report is a clear way-ahead to answer the One Seat petition, and end the unnecessary traveling circus that costs our tax payers’ and our environment a fortune.
Greetings from the European Parliament,
Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg
Link to the report on the location of the institutions:
Link to the opinion voted today in the committee on Budgets:
Link to the opinion voted in the committee on Petitions on 17/9: