Summary of allowances
The nature of an MEP’s workload means often having to be away from home. A number of allowances are therefore available to cover the costs incurred (figures below applicable as of 2020).
Most European Parliament meetings, such as plenary sessions, committees and political groups take place in Brussels or Strasbourg. MEPs are refunded the actual cost of travel tickets for attending the latter, upon submission of receipts, up to a maximum of either a business class (or similar) air fare, first class rail ticket, or €0.53 per km for car journeys (up to a maximum of 1,000KM), plus fixed allowances based on journey distance and duration to cover miscellaneous travel expenses (motorway tolls, excess baggage charges or reservation fees).
Members are often required to travel within and outside the Member State in which they are elected to carry out official duties as well as for other reasons (for example, to attend a conference or take part in a working visit). For activities not in their country, MEPs may be reimbursed for their travel, accommodation and related expenses up to a maximum annual amount of €4,503. For activities within the Member State of election, only travel expenses are reimbursed, up to a maximum annual amount determined on a country-by-country basis.
Daily allowance (also called “subsistence allowance”).
Parliament pays out a flat-rate allowance of €323 to cover accommodation and related costs for each day that MEPs are in Brussels or Strasbourg on official business, provided that they sign an attendance register. The allowance covers hotel bills, meals and all other related expenses. The allowance is reduced by 50% if MEPs miss more than half the roll-call votes on days when plenary votes are held, even if they are present and sign the attendance register.
For meetings outside the EU, the allowance is €162 (again, subject to the signing of a register) with hotel bills refunded separately.
This flat-rate allowance covers expenses resulting from Members’ parliamentary activities such as office rental and management costs, internet subscriptions, computers and telephones, the organisation of conferences and exhibitions. The allowance is halved for Members who, without proper justification, attend fewer than half the plenary sittings in one parliamentary year (September to August). This allowance is set at €4,563 per month.
MEPs are entitled to a reimbursement of two-thirds of their medical expenses. Apart from the proportion of reimbursement, the detailed rules and procedures of this system are the same as that which covers EU civil servants.
At the end of their term of office MEPs are entitled to a transitional allowance, equivalent to their salary, for one month per year they were in office. The maximum duration of this allowance is two years. Where a former MEP takes up a mandate in another parliament or a public office, the salary which is received from this new function is offset against the transitional allowance. If the MEP is simultaneously entitled to an old-age or invalidity pension, s/he cannot receive both, but must choose one or the other.
Parliament provides equipped offices to MEPs in both Brussels and Strasbourg. MEPs may make use of Parliament's official vehicles on official business when in either city.