Open Europe Blog

Libya is burning on the EU’s doorstep.

The dangers of the sovereign debt crisis still loom large over the eurozone – Portugal is likely to need a bail-out soon.

EU member states are working out how best to help Japan deal with the aftermath of the worst earthquake in the country’s history.

Meanwhile, trust in the EU is at an all time low in many countries across Europe.

Mundane issues such as these should not, of course, distract from the really important issue – maintaining MEPs’ €180 million/20,000 CO2 a year Strasbourg seat (in addition to their ordinary seat in Brussels and their secretariat in Luxembourg).

At least, that’s how France sees it. The French government has said it will challenge the decision at the ECJ, taken by a majority of MEPs to scrap one – we repeat just one – of Strasbourg’s annual sessions (the EP holds two plenary sessions in the autumn to compensate for MEPs’ extended holiday season.)

The French Europe Minister Laurent Wauquiez explains why:

“The parliament building in Strasbourg is the symbol of a Europe closer to citizens, a Europe that is proud of its symbols. The government will not accept the knife-attack on the contract which is in the treaties.”

Well of course. Now it all makes sense.

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