LONDON Euro-MP Jean Lambert has welcomed a vote by the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee to scrap the monthly ‘merry-go-round’ of holding meetings in both Brussels and Strasbourg.
She said the practice, which sees up to 5,000 lawmakers and parliamentary staff travel some 550 miles from Brussels to Strasbourg and back each month was costly, produced massive carbon dioxide emissions – and added unnecessarily to staff workloads.
Ms Lambert, who co-authored a report into the issue with former Green MEP colleague Caroline Lucas in 2007, said she hoped all MEPs would back the decision when it is debated by the full parliament next month – ironically, in a Strasbourg session.
She said: “The Lisbon Treaty governing the way the EU does its business must be changed to allow MEPs themselves to decide where to hold their meetings.
“Having a monthly merry-go-round between two sites is ridiculously wasteful.
“We just can’t afford to waste almost £200m a year on being so old-fashioned: ending the historic two-seat operation will remove a costly distraction concerning our role and encourage greater attention on our work.”
MEPs will vote on the future of the Strasbourg operation at its November session. If a majority are in favour of the change, member state Governments will be asked to consider changing the relevant EU treaties.