Buying European Parliament building ‘bad idea’

26 September 2006

Buying European Parliament building ‘bad idea’

Today the European Parliament voted in favour of the purchase of the European Parliament buildings in Strasbourg. SP Euro-MPs Erik Meijer and Kartika Liotard opposed the proposal, explaining that “We have no problem with the calculation that purchase will in the long term prove more advantageous than a rental agreement. If that was all that was at issue, we’d vote in favour. Much more important, however, is that fact that this will contribute to perpetuating the use of Strasbourg for monthly plenary meetings, a circus which costs 200 million euros a year or more.”

In September 1999, the Dutch national parliament declared its opposition to the European Parliament’s continued use of two different cities for meetings, calling on the country’s representatives in all EU institutions to do all that they could to bring this to an end. “We didn’t support the petition for a single seat for nothing, and so it’s hardly surprising that we voted against the proposal to buy the Strasbourg buildings,” said Meijer.

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