Conservatives lead the way on scrapping the ‘Strasbourg Circus’
The European Parliament voted in overwhelming support of a Conservative co-sponsored proposal to stop the monthly voting sessions taking place in Strasbourg.
Conservative MEPs have had great success today (20 November) in their campaign to scrap the wasteful two seats for the European Parliament and end the ridiculous Strasbourg “Travelling Circus”.
MEPs voted 483 in favour to 141 against, with 34 abstentions, on a report on the “Location of the seats of the EU’s institutions”, co-authored by a Conservative MEP.
However, the decision to scrap the Strasbourg seat ultimately can only be achieved with the agreement of the 28 Governments of EU countries - as it requires a change to the EU Treaty.
Local Conservative MEP Geoffrey Van Orden has long campaigned against the wastefulness of the so-called "dual-seat system". He stated:
"This is a crucial vote. It commits the Parliament to revision of the EU Treaty in order to have one seat for the European Parliament”.
"The present arrangement is enormously costly and wasteful of time and energy. It brings all of us into disrepute as people assume, wrongly, that all MEPs are in favour of the Strasbourg circus. Clearly that is not the case.”
"I have consistently called for the Parliament to reduce its budget and doing away with Strasbourg would be an enormous contribution to this."
“Removing the second seat needs the unanimous agreement of 28 governments and I can immediately think of one that would have an objection. However, previously we never got out of the starting blocks because of the built-in federalist majority within the Parliament, which saw any assault on Strasbourg as an attack on the EU itself. It is our Conservative group in the Parliament that has worked consistently over many months to bring about a sea change in attitudes”