Christian Engström, Pirat

11 mars 2010

Stop the Strasbourg flying circus madness!

Filed under: allmän politik,English — Christian Engström @ 15:39

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (Liberal, NL)

Once a month the European Parliament moves from Brussels to Strasbourg to meet there instead. Whether you prefer to look at it from an economic, an environmental, or just a plain common sense perspective, this is madness.

Strasbourg is a lovely city, and it has a beautiful cathedral and many fine restaurants. I can wholeheartedly recommend going there if you are taking a holiday in Europe. But this is no excuse for this senseless waste of time, money, and energy.

Stop the flying circus now, and let the Eurpean Parliament have its seat permanently in Brussels!

There have been many initiatives to put an end to this over the years. Swedish former MEP and present commissioner Cecilia Malmström (Liberal) took an initiative to collect over 1 million signatures from European citizens demanding a change. Other people from other party groups have tried as well on various occasions.

So far all attempts have failed, because the French government has stubbornly refused to even discuss amending the EU Treaties in this respect. But this is no excuse for giving up.

Dutch liberal MEP Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert has taken the latest initiative to put an end to the madness, and has sent a letter to French president Sarkozy:

President SARKOZY
Palais de l’Elysée
55, rue du faubourg Saint-Honor6
75008 PARIS

Strasbourg, 10 March 2010

Dear Mr. President,

Exactly a year ago I kindly asked you how the European Union is to maintain the confidence, of the hundreds of millions it represents, if it cannot adopt a single seat for the European Parliament.

In your reply of 9 April 2009 your Head of Cabinet, Mr Goubet, refers to the historic dimension of the Strasbourg seat. Obviously, and like others, I am not ignorant of the history of Europe. The fact is however that the Strasbourg seat was once a very positive symbol, reuniting France and Germany, but has now become a negative symbol of wasting money and bureaucracy.

I am convinced that this moment of (financial) crisis is actually a time for expanding aspirations and thus meeting the expectations of the European taxpayers. The two seats cannot be justified another day. The eyes of many Europeans are upon us waiting for us to lead.

Mr. President, let us seize this occasion with both hands. I do look forward to receiving your reply at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
Member of the European Parliament

She will be sending a similar letter to the President of the European Council Mr. Rompuy, and has invited other members of the European Parliament to co-sign it.

I have answered that I will be delighted to do so. I hope other members will as well.

Strictly speaking, this issue is of course outside the Pirate Party platform of safeguarding civil liberties in the digital age, and seeking reform of the intellectual property system.

But we also said during our election campaign that we would apply common sense in the European Parliament, and not support things that are obviously completely bonkers.

If the Strasbourg flying circus does not fall under that heading, I don’t know what does.

Although I may not think that this particular initiative will be any more successful than its predecessors, we must at least try.

Now I am off to the Strasbourg airport, to see if they have managed to keep it open today despite the fact that we had a three centimeters of snow this morning.

As you can see, I am a true optimist by heart, even when I should know better. 🙂


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15 kommentarer

  1. Getting rid of this insane moving back and fourth would be a small but important step in getting rid of some of the overhead and waste in EU which is one of the reasons why people are so sceptical about it.

    Kommentar av gabriel — 11 mars 2010 @ 19:05

  2. Varför inte väcka frågan om att tvinga Frankrike att betala flytten varje månad. Då lär de snart ge upp sitt motstånd till att avsluta flytten.

    Kommentar av Michael — 11 mars 2010 @ 19:07

  3. ”But we also said during our election campaign that we would apply common sense in the European Parliament, and not support things that are obviously completely bonkers.”

    Well, this was hardly a controversial issue…

    Keep up the good work!

    Kommentar av Christer — 11 mars 2010 @ 19:51

  4. The European Union – the New Soviet Union ? (video 4,5 min)

    The Real Face of the European Union (video ca 42 min)

    Kommentar av Josef Boberg — 11 mars 2010 @ 20:01

  5. By all means, please rid us from this moving nonsense.

    A PP sweden voter.

    Kommentar av Mollemand — 11 mars 2010 @ 22:46

  6. I disagree, do not get rid of it.
    Money and time spent on waste is money and time not spent on opressing the people even further.

    Kommentar av Nicklas W Bjurman — 11 mars 2010 @ 23:19

  7. In historically significant places we build landmarks, theme parks or museums. Who ever thought a parliament was a good replacement for a statue?

    Kommentar av Erik — 11 mars 2010 @ 23:20

  8. Kör hårt. Jag håller på dig och Jeanine.

    Kommentar av Anders — 11 mars 2010 @ 23:35

  9. You’re right of course, but I feel that this is a matter of national importance for French leaders. Not because it is actually important for the country, but because no French leader wants to be the one who let the Parliament leave Strasbourg.

    Kommentar av Johan Tjäder — 12 mars 2010 @ 0:07

  10. I agree with Michael. If the French wants this they should pay for it themselves.

    Kommentar av Daniel Flöijer — 12 mars 2010 @ 8:08

  11. If the French feel that it is important to have the Parliament in Strasbourg, why not let it stay in Strasbourg? Is there any reason why we want it to be in Brussels? There are other EU institutions in Brussels, so they can’t feel left out if the Parliament were to move to Strasbourg permanently.

    Kommentar av von — 12 mars 2010 @ 22:33

  12. Yup, if that is the problem, just stop going back to Brussels!

    Kommentar av Anders — 15 mars 2010 @ 17:48

  13. Belgium is a small and neutral country. France is not.

    Kommentar av Simon — 15 mars 2010 @ 20:23

  14. Fully agree with Simon. Good luck with this one. Sarkozy is more like a disease than a human being. Little man with a ring in his nose and a string on the ring and a Bruni holding the end of the string. The flying circus is French arrogance, little more. Good luck!

    Kommentar av Rick — 15 mars 2010 @ 22:02

  15. bra och intressant blogg ! keep it up !

    Kommentar av alex — 17 mars 2010 @ 16:50

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