SNP European spokesman Alyn Smith has today called on Scots to support an initiative to end the use of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Mr Smith has joined 22000 people – so far – in signing the “oneseateu” citizen’s initiative which seeks to end the Parliament’s expensive monthly trip from Brussels to Strasbourg.
The initiative, has been set up by the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform. If the petition can collect 1 million signatures it will be presented to the European Commission and Council for discussion and will be the first ever European “Citizen’s Initiative”.
Speaking from Brussels Mr Smith said:
“In signing this petition I give my full support for an end to the needless cost and waste of having two official seats for the European Parliament”
“The travelling circus between Brussels and Strasbourg costs €200 million a year. It is a waste of money and time when we could be using it for something more useful, boosting regional funds, spending on research or arts.
“I also call on all members of the Scottish public to add their signatures to the petition and demonstrate that the public will not put up with this farce any longer. “As the European Parliament is quickly becoming a more politically mature institution, it needs to get on with its work in a business-like fashion. What better way to reflect this than having a single permanent home”
“We still go to Strasbourg because the only way it can be stopped is if the leaders of all 25 countries agree – somehow I don’t see France doing that without significant pressure. I hope the mounting pressure from this initiative will lead to Paris eventually giving in.
“It’s not only the public that think this is a waste, most MEPs – though nothing against Strasbourg itself – don’t like the monthly migration either. “There is nothing in Strasbourg that we don’t already have in Brussels.”
“I am positive that a suitable alternative use can be found for the parliament building, one which allows Strasbourg to retain its special place in European history.” Do you want to stop €200 million a year being spent on moving MEPs from Brussels to Strasbourg every month. To sign the petition to keep the parliament in Brussels permanently visit www.oneseateu.eu