MEPs adopt revised 2013 calendar after France wins appeal against cost-saving amendment - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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MEPs adopt revised 2013 calendar after France wins appeal against cost-saving amendment

Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Following the European Court of Justice ruling of 13 December 2012 that annulled the cost-saving Amendment proposed by South West Conservative MEP Ashley Fox, MEPs have today approved a revised calendar of plenary meetings, ensuring the 'travelling circus' will continue and MEPs will again relocate from Brussels to Strasbourg twelve times in 2013 including twice in one month.

Mr Fox’s amendment, adopted by large majority in March 2011 by secret ballot, reduced the number of annual trips to Strasbourg by putting two separate plenary sessions into one week. However this was successfully challenged by France in the European Court and left the MEP ‘bitterly disappointed’.

The Court ruled that the 12 "ordinary plenary part-sessions" must be of equal duration and reiterated that only the member states have the legal power to change the seat of the institutions. The ruling was another blow to the cross-party MEP Single Seat campaign after structural faults in the hemicycle chamber roof in Brussels were discovered which has forced its closure for most of 2013.

In today’s vote on the revised calendar conducted by public and recorded ballot, Mr Fox recorded an ‘against’ vote, as did his Conservative MEP colleagues Julie Girling and Giles Chichester and UKIP MEPs Trevor Colman and the Earl of Dartmouth. Sir Graham Watson voted in favour.

The new calendar was approved by 494 votes in favour to 147 votes against, with 50 abstentions. As a result, the European Parliament will now convene in Strasbourg for its regular part-sessions on the following dates in 2013:
14-17 January
4-7 February
11-14 March
15-18 April
20-23 May
10-13 June
1-4 July
9-12 September
7-10 October
21-24 October
18-21 November
9-12 December

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