Wednesday, September 27, 2006

EU IS A Beaurocratic Dictatorship

EU IS A Beaurocratic Dictatorship
That is my opinion but just read on to see how to waste money.

Release: immediate
Released by: Richard Ashworth MEP, Conservative budgets spokesman

MEPs ignore the will of one million people and purchase the Strasbourg parliament

We should be parting the Parliament, not procuring it

Brussels, 27th September -- MEPs have today signed off a £100 million appropriation of the European Parliament buildings in Strasbourg, less than a week after - the online petition calling for the European Parliament to be based in just on place - received its millionth signature. Richard Ashworth MEP, Conservative budgets spokesman in the European Parliament, said the vote in the Parliament's 'bureau' sends out the wrong signal about its eagerness to vacate the premises and sit exclusively in one location.

Every month, the European Parliament decamps from Brussels to Strasbourg for the four-day session. Transporting MEPs, staff and paperwork costs the European taxpayer at least £130 million per year and causes untold damage to the environment through extra emissions.

Many MEPs lament the wasteful "travelling circus" but they are powerless to stop it as the EU's treaties stipulate the Parliament must sit in Strasbourg twelve times per year. Only national governments can decide to change the treaties.

Mr Ashworth said:

"It will take around nine years before the Parliament gets any return on its investment. In that time, the EU would have spent over a billion pounds of taxpayers' money shuffling people and papers around. Some MEPs are acting as if they have saved the taxpayer money - but they could save a great deal more if we finally end the monthly jaunt.

"The agreement requires us to return the land to the City of Strasbourg if we sell the buildings so we effectively only have the leasehold anyway.

"Although we are powerless to stop ourselves coming to Strasbourg, we can send out a clear and consistent message to national governments that we want this item discussed. Hopefully the signatures of one million EU citizens will be enough for national governments to debate Strasbourg at the next EU summit but I fear they will interpret our £100 million spending spree as a statement of intent to keep travelling between two Parliaments.

"Strasbourg has lost its relevancy. It was a fitting symbol of Franco-German reconciliation after the war but - sixty years on - it has become an expensive wedge that causes division, rather than unity."


Notes to editors: The reports are available here:

For more information, please contact Richard Ashworth on 0044 (0)7900 266 785 or James Holtum on 0032 (0)473 211174.

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