MEPs again vote in favour of a single seat for the European Parliament - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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MEPs again vote in favour of a single seat for the European Parliament

Saturday, 18 February 2012
This week in Strasbourg a majority of MEPs have again voted in favour of creating a single seat of the European Parliament in order to cut operating costs.

In a report giving the Parliament's views on the Guidelines of the 2013 EU budget, a majority of MEPs (329) voted in favour of Amendment 2, which stated that “[the European Parliament] Believes that the real and biggest saving could be made by having a single seat for the European Parliament; encourages therefore that the situation be evaluated without further delay”.

South West MEPs Giles Chichester, Ashley Fox, Julie Girling (all Conservative) and Sir Graham Watson (Liberal Democrat) voted in favour of this amendment.

Both the Earl of Dartmouth and Trevor Colman (UKIP) were absent and so did not vote.

While the vote will not make a decisive difference in the battle, it is yet another sign the battle is gradually being won and there is momentum behind the Single Seat campaign now that both its co-chairmen MEPs Edward McMillan-Scott and Alexander Alvaro now sit as ALDE Vice Presidents of the European Parliament.

In March 2011, MEPs made their first call for the second seat to be abolished by voting through an amendment by South West Conservative MEP Ashley Fox that will see one of the monthly plenary sessions in the French city removed from the 2012 parliamentary calendar in favour of a “double session”. Unhappy with this move, France took the amendment before judges at the European Court of Justice and a verdict is expected later this year.

Speaking in the plenary chamber afterwards in the regular 'Explanations of Vote' slot, Mrs Girling said: "I particularly welcome the carrying of Amendment 2 for the ending of this ridiculous travelling circus that results in our monthly flog here to Strasbourg: something which I would very much like to do without".

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