Fianna Fáil European Candidate for Ireland South, Cllr. Malcolm Byrne, has said the nonsensical relocation of the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg every month has to end.

Cllr. Byrne who will contest the election in May said the process causes significant upheaval. “Once per month, 751 MEPs, their staff, interpreters and all ancillary staff travel over four hours to set up camp in Strasbourg for four days.

“The MEPs and their staff fly, drive or take trains and a convoy of lorries carry whatever documents they need – operating like a traveling circus. I simply don’t see the need for it. This is a crazy waste of time and money and the new European Parliament needs to address this challenge.

“There is an important historical reason as to why Strasbourg is a European Centre and we need to recognise its significance to Franco-German history but we can surely compensate the city by locating other key institutions there rather than having the parliament up sticks and travel there four days per month.

“Our current MEPs have been silent on this issue but in reforming the E.U., this needs to be put on the table. All European Parliament candidates need to state clearly where they stand on this and how they would engage in E.U. reform.

“Of the political groupings at European level, only the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE), of which Fianna Fáil is a member, have sought to have this question addressed”, concluded Cllr. Byrne.