European Parliament decides to instigate single seat treaty change

Jan 13, 2015


The European Parliament’s committee chairs have today agreed to the drafting of a new report that will instigate a change in the EU’s treaties, allowing MEPs the power to decide where they sit.

The report – green lighted by the Conference of Committee Chairs today – sets the ball rolling on a treaty revision under article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty.

It follows on from a proposal on a single seat adopted in the previous parliament. That report, drafted by ECR MEP Ashley Fox and Green MEP Gerard Hafner, committed the parliament to initiating the revision in the future. It was adopted by 483 MEPs.

Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs committee has decided to follow through with a treaty revision, which would allow the parliament to decide on its location. The agreement by the committee chairs today needs to be rubber-stamped by parliament’s group leaders.

ECR Danish MEP Morten Messerschmidt will be the rapporteur on the new report. He said that, with a clear majority of the new parliament already showing their support for a single seat during the budget votes, he is confident that this report can force the European Council to consider the treaty revision.

He said:

“There is a clear majority right across the European Parliament in favour of a single seat. MEPs are using our Lisbon Treaty powers and forcing EU leaders to put this issue on the table.

“The European Parliament’s credibility will continue to be undermined as long as the shuttle between Brussels and Strasbourg continues. When people think about the European Parliament, one of the first things that comes to mind is our constant relocation between two seats. Nobody I talk to can understand why MEPs have to do it, and many get frustrated at the unnecessary financial and environmental waste.

“This report will build on the good work already carried out within the parliament on the single seat. Our shuttle is a relic of the past that cannot continue, and Europe’s leaders must now join with the parliament in saying that ‘enough is enough’”.