3rd June 2020 – In recent days, Pirate Party MEP Mikuláš Peksa has sent a letter calling for the European Parliament to establish a single seat to the Presidents of the Parliament, Council, and Commission, as well as the French President Emmanuel Macron. The letter gathered signatures from over 80 MEPs from across the political spectrum. Mr. Peksa believes this step is now more needed than ever. A majority of MEPs also supported establishing a single seat for the Parliament by passing amendments to the institutions’ financial accounts proposed by Mr. Peksa.
“There are economic reasons: the twin meeting places in Brussels and Strasbourg cost European taxpayers over 4 000 EUR every minute. Now, however, we also have security-related reasons for this step because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The emergency mode also proved that a great deal of our work can be transferred into the virtual space without any objective obstacles. Digitalization can ease the environmental and bureaucratic burden dramatically and there are no longer any good reasons for the European Parliament to be unable to have only one meeting place,” explained Mr. Peksa.
In its resolutions, the European Parliament has been calling for a single meeting place for its plenary sessions for over twenty years. Today, the main force driving the resistance against establishing a single seat in Brussels is Emmanuel Macron, who could block this plan in the Council once again. “That would be irresponsible. The quarrels over a single meeting place illustrate the egoism and uncooperative attitude of member states. Apart from the question of a single meeting place, I believe that we should also start discussing whether there is any point in maintaining the member states’ right to veto proposals in the Council. This rule needs to be updated, unless we want to end up like the UN,” commented Mr. Peksa.
Every year, the moves between Brussels and Strasbourg cost our taxpayers over 120 million EUR and they represent 67 % of the institutions’ total carbon emissions. Last year, 74 % out of 682 MEPs present voted for establishing a single seat for the European Parliament.