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SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP is supporting a campaign to end the European Parliament's wasteful practice of having two meeting places.
Although most MEPs, staff and offices are based in Brussels, and do most of their work there, for historic reasons the Parliament also meets in Strasbourg for one week a month at huge cost to the taxpayer. In a renewed effort to end this, a petition with over a million signatures is being presented to the European Parliament. The online petition - www.oneseat.eu - is backed by Mr. Hudghton who is also a member of the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform (CPR). Mr. Hudghton commented:
"The monthly trek to Strasbourg is a waste of time, energy and resources. Over a million signatures have been collected and this petition is now being considered by the Parliament. This demonstrates the enormous strength of feeling over this issue and EU authorities have to pay attention.
"As politicians we should be in the business of setting an example when it comes to cutting out unnecessary travel and use of resources. In this context, the monthly trip to Strasbourg for thousands of MEPs and staff is simply indefensible. Indeed, it's been estimated that in one year this monthly circus emits around 20,000 tonnes of CO2 and costs more than £150million.
"The monthly Strasbourg trek comes at huge financial and environmental cost. It is no longer credible or sustainable and should be phased out."
See www.oneseat.eu for more information. The petition has collected over a million signatures and is being considered by the European Parliament's petitions committee this week. Despite opposition from many MEPs, the European Commission and many governments are reluctant to change the current arrangement which is written into the EU Treaties and staunchly defended by France.
Such a Treaty provision can only be changed with the unanimous agreement of all EU member states.