Members of the European Parliament have voted by an enormous majority (429-184 with 37 abstentions) for a Single Seat, the highest majority ever recorded in a vote on this issue.
According to Liam Aylward, MEP for Ireland East this reflects the growing support for an end to the costly and controversial two-seat arrangement of the European Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg.
“The message from MEPs today, with this vote, is that it is time that the unacceptable economic and environmental costs of two seat arrangement are addressed. I strongly support moves for the European Parliament to have only one seat given that it costs tax payers an unnecessary €180 million per year and generates 19,000 tonnes of CO2.“
“We are currently in the process of negotiation the future budget for the European Union in the forthcoming Multi-Annual Financial Framework and unnecessary expenses such as the two-seat arrangement cannot be tolerated and should be eliminated.”
The European Parliament itself does not have the legislative power to determine the official seat and its own working arrangements. This decision rests with the Member States and requires a unanimous vote of all the 27 governments.
Calling for action from EU leaders in the Member States and Council the Ireland East MEP stated:
“Support is clearly increasing in the European Parliament itself for a single seat and 1.2 million European citizens have signed a petition asking for this situation to be addressed. These moves cannot continue to be ignored by EU leaders and it is time the single seat issue is put on the agenda and resolved.”