Outcome of the vote in the Constitutional Affairs Committee:
- extracts from the press conference by Ashley FOX (ECR, UK) and Gerald HÄFNER (Greens/EFA, DE), co-rapporteurs on the location of the seats of the EU Institutions
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - European Parliament
End production: 15/10/2013 First transmission: 15/10/2013
The European Parliament should have the right to decide where and when it meets, said the Constitutional Affairs Committee on Monday. MEPs undertake to initiate an EU treaty revision procedure to propose the changes needed to allow Parliament to decide on the location of its seat and its internal organisation. MEPs suggest initiating an ordinary treaty revision procedure to propose the changes needed "to allow Parliament to decide the location of its seat and its internal organisation". Under Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the European Parliament can submit proposals to the Council for the amendment of the EU treaties. “The European Parliament would be more effective, cost-efficient and respectful of the environment if it were located in a single place”, says the text, approved by 22 votes to 4.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the European Parliament in Brussels.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Ashley FOX (ECR, UK), co-Rapporteur: "And whilst I appreciate that in 1958, Strasbourg was a symbol of reconciliation, today having two seats, is a symbol of waist, it is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the European Union, so the report that was approved yesterday is a combination of great deal of work. And we have crafted a report that we believe will command a maximum amount of support in the Parliament."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Ashley FOX (ECR, UK), co-Rapporteur: "We have worked towards two principles, the first is that the European Parliament should have one seat, and secondly the European Parliament should decide where it is. The report concludes by saying that the European Parliament should commit itself to a constitutional change, in other words a change in the Treaties, and we understand that to be approved any such treaties change would have to be unanimously agreed by the heads of government. That includes the French government, so we are pragmatic we fully understand it would be absolutely impossible for a French president whoever this president, or future president to sign a Treaty change that moves the seat away form Strasbourg. So we don't mention Strasbourg, we don't mention Brussels, we are not specific about where the single seat should be."
||SOUNDBITE (German) Gerald HÄFNER (Greens/EFA, DE), co-Rapporteur: "This is the beginning of a decisive reform which citizens have waited for decades for, yesterday's decision was still a small revolution but it will lead to a big revolution, it will lead to the European Parliament demanding the right for itself to decide on its seat, its working arrangements and its working location."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Ashley FOX (ECR, UK), co-Rapporteur: SOUNDBITE (English) Ashley FOX (ECR, UK), co-Rapporteur: "If everything went according to plan, I'd hope that the EP would have the right to determine where it seats from may 2019, I think that is a reasonable timetable. This is going to take about five years get this through the process."
||Cutaways (3 shots)