ECJ: MEPs can vote on budget in Brussels if necessary

02-Oct-2018 @ 13:00

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ECJ: MEPs can vote on budget in Brussels if necessary

Today's "common sense" court ruling which will allow MEPs to vote in Brussels on budget matters in certain circumstances has been welcomed by Conservative MEPs' leader Ashley Fox.

The European Court of Justice ruled against France's claim that the European Parliament's adoption of the EU's 2017 budget at an "exceptional" sitting in Brussels, and not in Strasbourg, breached the EU treaty. The ECJ's ruling today says that MEPs were entitled to adopt the annual budget in Brussels if necessary to meet time limits set out in the EU's Treaties.

Maintaining two parliamentary seats costs EU taxpayers an estimated €114 million a year and the monthly commute between Brussels and Strasbourg by MEPs and staff annually pumps 19,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Conservative MEPs' Leader Ashley Fox, the leading British member of the Parliament's cross-party Single Seat Group which campaigns for the institution to be based in one location, welcomed the court's ruling.

He said: "Today's ruling is simply common sense. If the European Parliament has to vote on the annual budget in a certain time, and there isn't a Strasbourg session, MEPs ought to be able to vote in Brussels.

"However, this judgment only introduces an ounce of common sense into the Parliament's ridiculous and wasteful travelling circus. Instead of fighting court battles France should open talks and listen to people's call for change.

"It is in the EU's own interests to finally listen to its citizens, apply common sense and give the European Parliament a single seat."


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