'Stop the European Parliament travelling circus'

7 September 2011

'Stop the European Parliament travelling circus'

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel believes that Prime Minister Mark Rutte should be supporting the European Parliament in its decision at long last to hold fewer meetings in Strasbourg. ‘The journey from Brussels to Strasbourg and back, which costs millions, has been a blot on the landscape for years,’ he says. ‘Now that a decision has at last been taken to hold one meeting fewer per year in Strasbourg, the French are protesting. Rutte must make it clear to France that this waste of money has to stop.’

Harry van Bommel In March the European Parliament decided to run its two October meetings into one, which will enable MEPs to reduce their travel to Strasbourg. France has asked the European Court of Justice to annul the decision. The Netherlands and the other member states have until 20th September to make their opinions known. “Putting an end to this travelling circus is one point of the agreement arrived at by the governing parties when they formed their coalition,” Van Bommel points out. “Rutte must do all he can to persuade the French that they should withdraw this senseless protest against the EP’s decision to go to Strasbourg just one single time fewer.'

On Thursday Parliament holds talks with the Secretary of State for European Affairs. Van Bommel intends to use the occasion to ask the government to take up the cudgels with France over this matter and to continue to argue for a complete end to the travelling circus.

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