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Coalition backs Euro MPs’ campaign to end farce of two Parliaments

May 18, 2011 4:45 PM

Lib Dem Euro MP Liz Lynne has welcomed the support of the UK Coalition Government to a growing all-party campaign to scrap the Strasbourg sessions of the European Parliament.

In a letter to the Lib Dem and Tory party delegation leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have congratulated MEPs on their successful campaign to cut the number of wasteful trips to Strasbourg from next year by merging two sessions into one week.

They also confirm they will back the 'One Seat Campaign' with other Member States in the European Council.

For years the French government has resisted moves to hold all the Parliament's sittings in Brussels. Under the European Treaties, the Parliament must hold 12 sessions in Strasbourg every year, where a huge second Parliamentary complex has been built.

Commenting, the West Midland region's Lib Dem MEP Liz Lynne said:

"It is good news that we have managed to scrap one of these expensive monthly trips to Strasbourg and that the Coalition has backed the campaign. The only way we can stop this wasteful farce altogether is by persuading the French government to agree a change in the Treaties.

"MEPs have done what we can to reduce the costs under the current absurd system, but it is vital that the Coalition and other EU governments put pressure on France in the Council of Ministers and also try and win round French public opinion.

"Maintaining this huge white elephant which is only used for a maximum of 40 days each year costs taxpayers, especially French ones, a lot of money and does nothing to promote France's reputation"

"The UK Government's commitment to a single seat in Brussels is a very welcome boost to our campaign."


Note to editors: The 10 February report 'A Tale of Two Cities' for the Brussels-Strasbourg Seat Study Group, identified that a large majority of MEPs - about 90% - want just one single Parliament and to have it in Brussels. On 14 April the campaign group published French reactions as well as a paper in English which examined alternative uses for the Strasbourg buildings.