Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The European Parliament's official home is Strasbourg but its administrative home is Brussels, essentially the capital of Europe. The parliament sits in both cities. The result is a costly and wasteful logistics nightmare:
When a plenary session is held in Strasbourg once a month – it is empty for the remaining 307 days of the year - 1,220 officials and other servants of the parliament and political groups travel from Brussels to Strasbourg while another 525 travel from Luxembourg to Strasbourg.

But it is not just people who have to get to the Alsatian capital but also all of their work paraphernalia. This means "fifteen lorries which ferry cupboards and tin trunks full of documents each month from Brussels or Luxembourg to Strasbourg and back again," according to the report.

As a whole, the costs of the "travelling circus" - as it is known by critics of the arrangement - amounts to around €200,000 per year, with the total cost of travelling plus the allowances people get for going to Strasbourg amounting to €18 million.
All attempts to Brussels the permanent home of parliament have so far been rejected by France but the pressure to abandon Strasbourg has just been ratcheted up a notch:
The double seat arrangement of the European Parliament generates at least 20,000 extra tonnes of CO2 emissions – equalling 13,000 return flights from London to New York - according to a new study.

Commenting on the study, Greens co-leader Monica Frassoni said "The European Parliament is set to vote on Wednesday to constitute a temporary committee on climate change. Before we start throwing stones however, we should make sure that our own house or houses are in order."
And don't forget all of the trees sacrificed to fill 15 lorries with useless paperwork.


Post a Comment

<< Home