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US News Coronavirus: The European Parliament will sit in Brussels and not in Strasbourg despite Macron's call

00:45  29 september  2020
00:45  29 september  2020 Source:   20minutes.fr

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The European Parliament will exceptionally hold next week’ s planned plenary session in Brussels and not in Strasbourg , as the number of confirmed

The French president insisted that the Parliament sit in Strasbourg in October

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Between the stork or Manneken-Pis, it is necessary to choose for the MEPs . And unlike the 2018 World Cup (yes Belgian friends, we will continue to bother you with that at least until 2022), France has this time lost in this fight. Next session of the European Parliament , from October 5 to 8, will be held at Brussels and not at Strasbourg because of the pandemic, its president David Sassoli announced on Monday, despite a request from French President Emmanuel Macron.

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The European Parliament will hold its plenary session next week in Brussels rather than Strasbourg to avoid "significantly higher health risks" due to the coronavirus , Parliament President David Sassoli said in an email Thursday. The decision came several days after Sassoli announced measures to ban

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“Unfortunately, given the recent increase in the transmission rate of the virus in France, including in the Bas-Rhin department, and for the sake of public health, we must reconsider the displacement of Members and employees of the European Parliament, to a few days before the first parliamentary session in October, ”explained David Sassoli in a statement to elected officials.

"I am counting on you"

The French President had called for the return of plenary sessions to Strasbourg "from October". "It is your responsibility to implement without delay the return to institutional normality and a resumption of plenary sessions in Strasbourg from October," he wrote in a letter to David Sassoli.

"I'm counting on you. Respect for treaties seems essential to me, "added the French head of state. But the President of the Assembly ruled that the conditions did not yet lend themselves to a resumption of sessions in Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament.

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The switch from Brussels to Strasbourg means traveling from a city designated as a coronavirus red zone by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to a region Even the Parliament ' s catering outlets in Strasbourg will be limited to one-third of their usual capacity, the note said.

Why does the European parliament sit in Brussels and Strasbourg ? Like previous calls for change, she ran into the same obstacle. The parliament ’ s Strasbourg home is inscribed in the EU treaty and can only be changed by the unanimous agreement of all 28 member states – giving France

In Strasbourg as soon as possible

"Unfortunately, the health situation prevents us from going to Strasbourg for the first plenary in October. We hope that everything will change soon and that we can return to our city, ”he explained in a message posted on his twitter account.

"The Parliament will hold its sessions again in Strasbourg as soon as conditions allow", he concluded. A second session of the European Parliament is scheduled for October 19-22.

Ecological and financial cost

According to European treaties, the institution has its headquarters in Strasbourg, where twelve plenary sessions of three and a half days are usually held per year. But the rest of the time, MEPs work in Brussels, which has been a source of debate for years. Any change of treaty would, however, require the approval of all member states.

The many supporters of a single headquarters, which would be established in Brussels, regularly denounce the financial and ecological cost of this monthly transhumance of around 2,500 people, and the fact that the immense Strasbourg complex is only used four days a month .

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