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S&Ds on EU Budget 2023: Acquiring a new building for the Parliament in Strasbourg is absurd, especially in times of crisis


19 Oct 2022


Euro & Finance

In a vote on the EU budget 2023, the Socialists and Democrats tabled amendments against the acquisition of the new Osmose building in Strasbourg and the costly renovation of the existing Spaak building in Brussels. Thanks to the insistence of the S&Ds, Parliament will now reconsider the renovation plans for the Spaak building, which are estimated to be at least 500 billion euros. S&Ds are disappointed that the EPP pushed through their plans for the Osmose building.

On the overall budget, the plenary backed S&D negotiation achievements on more money for energy-related issues, health, education, culture, humanitarian aid and migration. Energy-related money was increased by 300 million euros to address the most pressing issues for citizens and businesses.

Nils Ušakovs, S&D negotiator on the EU budget 2023 for EU institutions, said:

“I am proud my group spearheaded the fight against unreasonable spending of tax payers’ money. The plans to exchange the European Parliament’s existing Salvador de Madariaga building (SDM) in Strasbourg for the newly constructed Osmose building is simply outrageous. The proposal by the French authorities to turn the SDM building into a hotel for members of the European Parliament and exchange it for the newly built Osmose building is not cost-neutral as its proponents claim. At the very least, the costs for outfit works for security measures will be billed to the taxpayers. I am disappointed that the EPP did not follow us on this. Today’s vote showed that many members of the EP share the concerns of our group and only a tiny, questionable majority was in favour of such an absurd project. What follows next, according to the formal procedure, is the first discussion of the Osmose project by the European Parliament’s committee on budgets. This discussion will be held next Wednesday, 26 October. Then the EP’s committee on budgets can vote on the Osmose project at any moment in the next four months starting from 26 October onwards.

“At least on the costly renovations of the iconic Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) building in Brussels, sense has prevailed for now. Our call in plenary was heard and the project will now have to be totally reconsidered. There can be no compromise with safe working conditions for anyone, and the staff of the European Parliament is no exception here. Yet, any plans to improve the building must find the right balance between the result achieved and the money spent.”

Victor Negrescu S&D negotiator on the EU budget 2023 for European policies, said:

“The European Commission’s proposal for an EU budget was a good starting point, but the S&D Group was guided by the principle that we have to be more ambitious and respond better to the social needs of Europeans. I am particularly proud that our group achieved more money for energy-related issues, including funding for more innovation in green energy. I put a lot of effort into obtaining the additional 300 million euros for this purpose through increases in various European programmes, as it is my deep personal conviction we have to help our citizens and businesses with their most pressing needs. Only when we can show in practice that we are solving their problems, will they have trust in the European Union.

“In a world with growing competition among different players, our group is convinced we have to be more ambitious in investments in research, development and education. We have to boost the trust of young people in the European project and this is why I obtained an increase of 210 million euros in support of one of the greatest success stories of the EU - the Erasmus+ exchange programme for students - as well as for the support of Ukrainian students in the EU.

“A particular focus in the work of my group in the process of negotiations was to get more money for EU regions receiving huge flows of migrants. As a Romanian, I know very well what challenges there are for regions bordering Ukraine where many Ukrainians are seeking refuge from the war. That’s why I am happy we obtained 110 million euros more for migration and support to member states in the reception of migrants.”


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