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'European Parliament should be full time in Brussels' - Alec Dauncey

April 24, 2013 11:44 AM

Welsh Liberal Democrat European Candidate Alec Dauncey, has today called on all political parties to include an election manifesto commitment to end the system which means the European parliament has meetings in two cities 270 miles apart.

For four days a month, the European Parliament leaves its working base in Brussels, the EU's political capital, and descends on Strasbourg, its official 'Seat'. Working in both Brussels and Strasbourg is estimated to cost around €180m a year.

Alec Dauncey commented:

"It makes no sense for the European Parliament to keep meeting in two separate cities. A Single Seat in Brussels would save money, reduce the carbon footprint and give elected MEPs the chance to concentrate on holding the officials in the European Commission to democratic account. That's better done face to face, not by email from miles away.

"Decades ago, meeting in Strasbourg was a symbolic way of celebrating peace between France and Germany, and we still remember the British soldiers who died in wars between them as well. But frankly, time moves on, and as someone who really believes in making the European Union work effectively for people in Wales, this system is embarrassing and crazy. It's not fair to expect the people of Wales to go on paying for this, when the focus should be on efficiency and building a stronger economy in a fairer society.

"The UK Coalition Agreement includes the pledge to press for this, Liberal Democrats are at the forefront of the Europe wide campaign for a more effective European Parliament which should be in one place, serving constituents better and cutting costs."

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