Door Peter van Dalen op 3 juni 2020 om 22:13
De maandelijkse verhuizing van Brussel naar Straatsburg is geldverslindend en milieuonvriendelijk. Dat moet daarom stoppen.
Samen met tientallen collega-Europarlementariërs heb ik daarom het Europees Parlement, de Europese Raad en de Europese Commissie in een brief opgeroepen om dit reiscircus een halt toe te roepen. Helaas kan het Europees Parlement zelf niet de vergaderlocatie bepalen. Deze beslissing moet unaniem genomen worden door de staatshoofden en regeringsleiders van de lidstaten van de EU.
Het feit dat er twee vergaderplaatsen zijn kost meer dan 114 miljoen euro en is verantwoordelijk voor meer dan 67% van de ecologische voetafdruk van het Europees Parlement. Daarnaast brengt al dat extra reizen tijdens de coronacrisis ook nog eens extra risico met zich mee.
Er zijn dus met andere woorden genoeg goede aanleiding om dit onderwerp weer eens onder de aandacht te brengen.
De (Engelstalige) brief is hieronder te lezen.
Dear colleagues from the European Parliament, Council and Commission,
We all have a responsibility for the shared future of Europe. In this time of crisis, it is high time to re-evaluate some of the rules we have upheld till now and focus on the most important aspects of the European project, which will help us move forward.
An unprecedented health crisis is currently affecting millions of people in Europe and tragically taking thousand of lives. However, this is not the end. The economic crisis will crush the hopes and dreams of generations of Europeans. I sincerely hope that we will all do whatever is in our power not to leave anyone behind.
I firmly believe that the European Parliament needs to take on its responsibility and share the burden since it is the highest European directly elected body. We need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If we want the people to have confidence and trust in the European project, we need to show them that we are also ready to make concessions.
Therefore, I would like to ask you to do everything in your power to change the treaties in order to have just a single seat of the Parliament in Brussels. This call has again gained a large majority of support in the 2018 Parliament discharge resolution adopted on 13 May 2020 and shall now be taken into account and acted upon. The financial and environmental costs of moving the Parliament are, especially in these times of digitally connected Europe, extremely high and hard to justify. Each year, the cost of having multiple seats amounts to more than 114 million euros and is responsible for more than 67 % of the Parliament’s carbon footprint.
The concept of multiple Parliamentary seats has become entirely obsolete. It is also quite probable that the COVID-19 will remain part of our lives throughout the following years. Therefore, the mere travels between seats will be prevented by health concerns.
Let us cut our costs now and use these valuable funds for the transition of our political process into the 21st century - and I am sure that there will still be plenty left to help the European citizens directly. Let us show that we are serious and that we are not just imposing costs and requirements on people while still taking trips to Strasbourg to honor old symbols.
Now more than ever, we need new symbols of European unity and solidarity. Approval of the single-seat would be a strong symbol for Europeans, especially for the “newer Member States”. It would show people that we are all Europeans and that Europe can adapt, improvise and overcome this new challenge.
I believe that our response to this crisis can make us stronger.
Kind regards, and I wish you and your families good health.