“Now not the time for needless Strasbourg exodus” – Chris MacManus MEP
Irish MEP Chris MacManus has highlighted the needless dangers in persisting with the ritual parliamentary relocation to Strasbourg.
The Midlands Northwest MEP said; “Given the current Covid situation, I think the decision of the European Parliament to send a couple of thousand to people from one high infection zone in Brussels to another high infection zone in Strasbourg is beyond belief. Such a decision in the middle of a pandemic highlights once again just how ludicrous it is for the Parliament to meet in two separate places.”
The Sinn Fein MEP continued “The majority in the European Parliament have voted to have a single seat for the European Parliament on a number of occasions. However the EU Treaties and the insistence of the French government on maintaining their monthly cash cow have again frustrated the will of the Parliament.”
The Sligo based MEP called for a more sensible approach in line with current guidelines “I think we’re all aware of the astronomical costs and the environmental damage of the monthly trek to Strasbourg, That should be reason enough to find alternative arrangements however now there is a very real public health risk in maintaining this status quo. There is an overriding interest for the Parliament authorities to prioritise public health and to maintain the plenary in Brussels unless and until there is a vaccine or a cure for Covid-19.
MacManus concluded: “I believe an urgent rethink is necessary to avoid exacerbating the current Covid crisis. At a very minimum I think the Commission should be allowing MEP’s to speak remotely and not just vote remotely at the next plenary session due to take place in Strasbourg from the 14th to the 17th September.” ENDS