LATEST

MEPs show strong support for Single Seat ahead of ECJ case 

In a vote to clear the EU's budget for 2010, MEPs have sent out another strong  message of support for a single working location of the European Parliament.  EU Member States continue to veto a single seat for the European Parliament despite  the fact that it would achieve estimated savings of € 180million (£145million) a year.  Read more...

Single Seat campaign continues to gather momentum 

Single Seat publishes an update as the campaign continues to gather momentum. Read more...

MEPs vote overwhelmingly for a Single Seat 

On 29 March, MEPs voted overwhelmingly  for a Single Seat of the European Parliament. 429 MEPs voted in favour of a Single Seat arrangement; the biggest majority the House has ever recorded. Read more...

European Parliament President favours single base, but in Strasbourg

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said he is in favour of a single location for the legislature, thus ending its lawmakers‘ regular commute between Brussels and the French city of Strasbourg.

"I think we need one single seat. It not always efficient to travel between two places," Schulz told Swedish radio. 

"I am in favour of Strasbourg because I think the seat of the European Parliament is Strasbourg," he added. Read more...


MEPs re-iterate their demands for a Single Seat 

In the vote on the draft EP budget guidelines for 2013 - 2020, MEPs pointed to the substantial savings that could be made by having only one work place instead of three (Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg), and a majority of committee members called on the Council of Ministers to act on their repeated demand that Parliament should have only one seat for members and officials. They stressed that Parliament should have the right to decide its own working arrangements, which they believe is not the case at present. Read more...

EU Parliament President throws weight behind Single Seat initiative

Parliament's new president Martin Schulz has given tacit support to a campaign calling for the scrapping of the assembly's controversial two-seat arrangement. Read more...

MEPs vote for Single Seat 

Voting on the Parliament's draft budget guidelines for 2013, MEPs voted to freeze the Parliament's budget until mid-2014, and yet again demand a Single Seat in order to save money and increase efficiency. 

Co-chair of the Single Seat campaign, Edward McMillan-Scott: "The pollution, cost, inefficiency and remoteness of this travelling circus are indefensible. The 1.27 million people who signed up to the OneSeat petition in 2007, calling for the EP to be located only in Brussels, have been ignored by the EU. But Europe's public today cannot be ignored against a backdrop of economic crisis and pressing environmental concerns." Read more...

Support gathers for a Single Seat

The Single Seat campaign has released an update following mounting support for its campaign in the run-up to its launch of a European Citizens' Initiative on 1 April 2012, which will consult citizens on the 2-seat arrangement of the Parliament. Supporters include the new President of the European Parliament, who has stated that he wishes to see the Parliament having a Single Seat. Read more

Absolute Majority of MEPs for a Single Seat

The European Parliament has supported a Single Seat by an Absolute Majority. The Garriga Report (on the 2014 - 2020 EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework) "points to the significant savings that could be made if the European Parliament were to have a single seat". This paragraph (#127) was supported in a recorded vote by 373 - 285 MEPs: the threshold for an overall majority is 369 votes.

'MEPs vow to take on France over Strasbourg seat: top law firm offers pro bono support' - read more

Strasbourg is 'Stressbourg' says major report

New research shows that more MEPs and their staff than ever before - some 90 per cent - find the monthly trek between Brussels and Strasbourg intolerable. They say it is wasteful, undermines parliament's effectiveness and is bad for the environment and their health. A comprehensive report, A Tale of Two Cities, also presents the results of previous academic and other surveys (pages 42 and 43).

Read full press release here, the executive summary here and the full report here.

Brussels - Strasbourg Seat Study Group formed Oct 21 2010

All the issues surrounding the controversial two-seat arrangement, in which the European Parliament moves monthly from its main base in Brussels en masse to Strasbourg, are being examined by a cross-party Study Group.

In an email message to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and staff on October 21 2010, Edward McMillan-Scott , Vice-President for Democracy and Human Rights, wrote the following here after the parliament deferred the adoption of its 2012 Calendar in a divisive environment. (The calendar was subsequently amended by an overwhelming majority on March 9):

"This week has seen us starting serious work under the Lisbon Treaty, which, as President Buzek told us 'has given us new powers but also new responsibilities'. The first EU Budget was voted under the Treaty and we have concluded important agreements with the other EU institutions and with the national parliaments.

However, the vote on the 2012 Calendar was postponed in a divisive climate. Therefore, I believe that the time has come for an objective examination of all the issues surrounding the question of the Seat(s) of the European Parliament.

In view of the political/country sensitivities, I am setting up a cross-party Informal Seat Study Group with the terms of reference below. Because the Bureau is responsible for administrative and financial matters, I have proposed a comprehensive discussion there, based on objective and neutral information.

There have been no debates or resolutions in recent years but the two-seat arrangement generates public scorn, especially at a time of economic stringency. We need to work efficiently, particularly in relation to national parliaments and the other EU institutions.

Despite much discussion and media comment, few objective and up-to-date facts are known. The intention of the Seat Study is to correct that lack of information.

Terms of reference: examination of all relevant issues connected with the Seat(s) of the European Parliament, covering cost, environmental impact, history, treaties, efficiency, buildings, facilities, transport links, accommodation, security and will have input from Members, former Members, the Administration, other staff, assistants and external interested parties. We will also consider the interests of our current host countries.

Please contact me if you wish to make a contribution.

Yours, Edward McMillan-Scott

(Vice-President for Democracy and Human Rights; Relations with National Parliaments; Chairman of the Audit Panel)"

About us

The Study Group is chaired by Edward McMillan-Scott, the European Parliament's first independent vice-president, elected in 2009. He is a member of the ALDE group.

All the other members of the Study Group are senior MEPs or former MEPs. The funding for its activities come from European Parliament or political group sources. Legal advice is provided to the Group pro bono by international law firm Sidle Austin LLP.

 Method

The Study Group conducts desk research, face-to-face interviews of MEPs and staff and assesses opinion by other methods.

The President of Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, has been asked by the Study Group for an update of the study made of the Seat costs in 2002.