Summary of allowances
Much of MEPs' work means being away from home and their home country. Therefore, a number of allowances are available to cover the costs involved (all figures from 2020).
Most European Parliament meetings, such as plenary sessions, committee meetings and political group meetings, take place in Brussels or Strasbourg. MEPs are refunded the actual cost of their travel tickets for attending such meetings upon presentation of receipts, up to a maximum of a business class (or similar) air fare, a first class rail fare or €0.53 per km for car journeys (up to a maximum of 1000 km), plus fixed allowances based on the distance and duration of the journey to cover other costs of travelling (such as motorway tolls, excess baggage charges or reservation fees).
Members are often required to travel within and outside the Member State in which they were elected, both in the performance of their official duties and for other purposes (for example, to attend a conference or take part in a working visit). For activities outside their own country, MEPs may be reimbursed for their travel, accommodation and related expenses up to a maximum annual amount of €4.503 . For activities within their Member State of election, only travel expenses are reimbursed, up to a maximum annual amount determined on a country-by-country basis.
Parliament pays a flat-rate allowance of €323 to cover accommodation and related costs for each day that MEPs are present in Brussels or Strasbourg on official business, provided that they sign a register to attest their presence. The allowance covers hotel bills, meals and all other expenses involved. The allowance is reduced by half, if MEPs miss more than half the roll-call votes on days when plenary votes are held, even if they have been present and signed the attendance register.
For meetings outside the EU, the allowance is €162 (again subject to signing a register) with hotel bills refunded separately.
This flat-rate allowance is intended to cover expenses resulting from Members’ parliamentary activities, such as office rent and management costs, telephone and subscriptions, representation activities, computers and telephones, the organisation of conferences and exhibitions. The allowance is halved for Members who, without due justification, do not attend half the number of plenary sittings in one parliamentary year (September to August).
In 2020 the allowance is € 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.