Brian Hayes, Fine Gael MEP has criticised new plans for a massive overhaul of the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels. The Secretary General of the Parliament presented the plan to Parliament’s Bureau last week and it is understood that the proposal was heavily criticised.
“At a time when national budgets are under severe strain in many parts of Europe, it would be political and economic madness for the European Parliament to consider this proposal. If EU institutions are arguing for Member States to have balanced budgets and prudent spending, the same rules should apply for the budgetary policies of the institutions. Any plans for a renovation of Parliament’s premises should be opposed by all political groups in Parliament.
“We should remember that the Parliament already wastes almost €120 million every year of EU money by packing up and moving to Strasbourg for the monthly plenary voting session. The majority of MEPs want Strasbourg sessions to be abolished but since France is completely opposed to this, it is unlikely to be changed. Deciding to rebuild the Parliament in Brussels without addressing the madness of plenary meetings in Strasbourg makes no sense.
“The Parliament’s main building was opened in 1993 and is in good condition. It is hard to understand how a 22-year old building would need a major overhaul. The main building houses over 7,000 staff and has been able to accommodate increases in staff numbers by providing additional office locations in Brussels.”