Sinn Féin

05/04/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/04/2021 10:31

“EU Parliament could save money and cut emissions by staying in Brussels” - Chris MacManus MEP

4 May, 2021 - by Chris MacManus MEP

'EU Parliament could save money and cut emissions by staying in Brussels' - Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Fein MEP accuses EU of Climate Action Hypocrisy as talk of Strasbourg return grows

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said the Covid situation has shown that the EU Parliament can and should work form Brussels alone and that the environment and EU taxpayer would benefit.

MacManus said:

'In two separate reports last week I was happy to unambiguously support a single seat for the European Parliament. Before Covid the parliament travelled to Strasbourg each month in a costly exercise in terms of money and carbon footprint. Having become an MEP only since the pandemic began I've never been to Strasbourg and see no reason to go.'

The Midlands Northwest MEP called for action, 'MEPs have made it clear that staying in Brussels is the majority view of the parliament. Unfortunately, it would take action at government level to change the situation but it should happen.'

MacManus accused the EU of sending mixed messages in terms of climate action. 'The EU weakens its case for environmental reforms when it contributes so needlessly to its own carbon footprint by insisting that MEPs work from two sites and thousands of staff shuttle between the two. Covid has shown how unnecessary this is. It is hypocritical to preach about Climate action whilst needlessly adding to the problem.'

The Sinn Féin MEP concluded by highlighting the staggering figures being wasted, 'Last week we heard how the Court of Auditors estimates that moving from Strasbourg to Brussels could generate annual savings of EUR 114 million plus a one-off saving of EUR 616 million if the Strasbourg buildings are sold. The EU should act to end the traveling circus as soon as possible.' ENDS