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 Full text 
Procedure : 2012/2308(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0350/2013

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 19/11/2013 - 15
CRE 19/11/2013 - 15

Votes :

PV 20/11/2013 - 8.27
CRE 20/11/2013 - 8.27

Texts adopted :


Tuesday, 19 November 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

15. Location of the seats of the European Union's institutions (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Ashley Fox, rapporteur . − Mr President, can I thank Members for a very interesting and informative debate. I also pay tribute to you, Mr President, for your work for the single seat group. It is a shame that Mr Schulz is not in the chair tonight, but perhaps appropriate that you have been in the chair.

I want to address the point raised by Mrs Le Grip and others as to why in this report we only dealt with the ‘seatʼ of the European Parliament.

Members will be aware that when the Committee on Constitution Affairs originally requested the report, we asked for it to be on the seat of this Parliament. But miraculously that was changed by the Conference of Presidents – and who suggested that change? Well, Mr Daul, a Frenchman, the Chair of the PPE Group, who did not want us to have a report on that subject.

The Conference of Presidents insisted that we have a discussion on ‘the seats܀ and so Gerald Häfner and I exercised our prerogative to say in the report that we made no further recommendations on the other institutions.

We have had a lot of contributions tonight, but interestingly, only four Members have spoken against the report – and all four of them are French! I think it is quite amusing when French colleagues say that to attack Strasbourg is to attack Europe. Nonsense! Nonsense on stilts. It is pro-European to be pro-reform because the issue of this travelling circus – which is a bad joke with European taxpayers – brings the EU into disrepute, and French Members here should confess what they are doing.

They are defending their selfish national interest and if the seat of the European Parliament was in my home city of Bristol, I would do the same and I would do it proudly, but I would not dress up that debate as being something to do with some wider interest.

So please, ladies and gentlemen, French Members, be honest: this is in your selfish national interest. Say it, be honest and be proud, but the majority tomorrow will vote against you and I am confident we will have a very large majority.

Last updated: 14 February 2014Legal notice