Court cases finally begin as France seeks to annul the Fox Amendment reducing MEP trips to Strasbourg - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Court cases finally begin as France seeks to annul the Fox Amendment reducing MEP trips to Strasbourg

Friday, 8 June 2012
After announcing they would be taking the Fox Amendment to court in March 2011, the French Government’s proceedings have finally begun before the European Court of Justice.

Cases C-237/11 and C-238/11 brought before the court in May 2011, seek to annul the deliberation and the vote of the European Parliament as they infringe both Protocol numbers 3 and 6 of the Treaties regarding the location of the seats of European Union's institutions.

According to the French Government, in providing that two of the 12 periods of monthly plenary sessions which must be held each year in Strasbourg are to be reduced from four to two days and will take place, in 2013, during the same week of October, the European Parliament sought to circumvent the rule that the 12 periods of monthly plenary sessions, including the budget session, must be held in Strasbourg,” reads one of the pleas. “The contested deliberation leads, in reality, to one of the 12 periods of monthly plenary sessions which must be held in Strasbourg being eliminated. Its sole objective is thus to diminish the length of time the MEPs are present at the seat of the European Parliament, without its being justified by internal organisational requirements relating to the work of the Parliament.
The author of the Fox Amendment, South West Conservative MEP Ashley Fox was less than pleased that proceedings had got this far, saying today in a statement posted on his website: “The cost of switching sittings back and forth is shockingly wasteful and is indefensible in the current economic climate. France and Luxembourg are putting their own vested interests ahead of the interests of taxpayers. This attempt to derail our campaign is unwarranted and undemocratic.

The opinion of the Advocate-General will be published on 6 September and a final ruling is expected in the autumn, rest assured I shall be following the case closely and writing more posts on this important ruling as the campaign for a single seat rumbles on.

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