On the 50th anniversary of the first meeting the common assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, Conservatives in the European Parliament are launching a campaign to abolish the Strasbourg meeting of the European Parliament. A report from the Secretary-General of the European Parliament to the Parliament's Bureau officially estimates the costs of providing a dispersed European Parliament in excess of €5200 million, about 16% of the Parliament's total budget. The report details the extraordinary costs involved in providing premises, staff, travel expenses and an IT infrastructure for a 4-day meeting of the European Parliament once a month.

Conservatives are calling on all Members of Parliament to sign up to its campaign and support a call for the European Parliament's work to be concentrated in one place.

In launching the campaign, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins, MEP for the North West, said: "The Parliament's meeting in Strasbourg is an unnecessary waste of everyone's resources. To see 17 articulated trucks carry the contents of our offices once a month from Brussels to Strasbourg is a joke. No serious body could operate in this fashion and pretend to work effectively. Now we know the true cost involved in this absurd arrangement, all Members should see that it is abolished. The best anniversary gift European politicians could give the people of Europe would be an offer to return €5200 million in savings by abolishing the Strasbourg meeting".

Sir Robert at the Launch

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