European Parliament: SP won't be going to Strasbourg's 'lost plenary'

19 April 2010

European Parliament: SP won't be going to Strasbourg's 'lost plenary'

The SP's European Parliament group has decided not to attend this week's plenary session in Strasbourg. According to the party, the session can already be labelled a failure. During the weekend it became clear that because of the limitations on air travel, it would not be possible for many MEPs to travel, especially those having to come from distant countries. Explaining the decision, SP group Chair Dennis de Jong said, ‘Representation would be skewed because of this. In addition, it's doubtful whether enough MEPs would be available in any case to meet the requirements for a quorum to vote. Travelling to Strasbourg under such circumstances makes no sense."

Dennis de JongInside the European Parliament there has been great confusion over the situation. Despite urging from many MEPs, the assembly's Praesidium has not been able to come to an agreement. Discussions are to be held with the political groups this afternoon in Strasbourg as to which, if any, agenda points can still be dealt with. Many MEPs are justly annoyed that they will have to travel to Strasbourg, probably for nothing. "I don't think this shows good management," says De Jong: 'The Praesidium is obviously entangled in its own procedures. We are in any case against this monthly travelling circus, that costs hundreds of millions of euros a year when we are looking to be careful with taxpayers' money. It's not a pleasant thought that while many ordinary people are likely to become victims of huge spending cuts, the European Parliament to avoid such a wasteful and in this case also completely pointless travelling circus. For these reasons the SP will be working in Brussels this week."

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