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S&D: To save taxpayers’ money, we must stop the planned exchange of an existing European Parliament building in Strasbourg with a newly constructed one

Date

11 Oct 2022

Sections

Global Europe

The S&D Group opposes the adoption of a controversial plan to exchange the European Parliament’s Salvador de Madariaga (SDM) building in Strasbourg for a newly constructed building called Osmose. According to the Socialists and Democrats, such an exchange would entail spending an unreasonably high amount of taxpayers’ money. The S&D Group tabled an amendment to stop the plans, spearheaded by the EPP, during a vote in the European Parliament's budget committee on a resolution for the EU budget 2023 for the EU institutions. Unfortunately, the political groups EPP, Renew Europe, and the Greens did not join the S&Ds in the vote to reject this plan.

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

"Europe doesn’t demand a VIP Parliament or a luxurious democracy. Europe in crisis demands solidarity in all its forms. Instead, the EPP drafted a report that opens the door for an exchange of the existing SDM building in Strasbourg for the newly constructed Osmose building. What the initiators and supporters of this exchange tell us, namely turning the Salvador de Madariaga building into a hotel for members of the European Parliament and moving the European Parliament’s administration to the new Osmose building, is simply not realistic. There are no doubts this would inevitably mean at least outfit works for security reasons.

“We also think the project for the future of the European Parliament’s iconic Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) building in Brussels has to be totally reconsidered. We have to explore money-saving opportunities that would bring us to the result we want - safe working conditions for the European Parliament without unreasonable budgetary implications for our taxpayers. One thing is for sure - it is not only about money. It is also about respecting rules and procedures as well as the values of the European Union. We cannot spend our taxpayers’ money irresponsibly, especially in times when European households and businesses have such dramatic financial problems.

“We call on all political Groups to oppose the acquisition of the Osmose building in Strasbourg and to reconsider the project for the future of the Paul-Henri Spaak building in Brussels. The matter will be raised again at a vote by all members of the European Parliament next week during the plenary session in Strasbourg. I hope common sense and respect for European taxpayers’ money will prevail.”

Note to the editors:

The S&D group proposed  an amendment to the report, which was voted down by the other groups during a vote in committee on budgets of the European Parliament. The text of the S&D amendment is:

(f) recalls the Bureau that proper information and consultation with BUDG committee before adopting any major decision on building related issues is needed due to their important budgetary implications; asks the Bureau to explore savings opportunities and to totally reconsider the project on the future of the Spaak building in Brussels and to oppose the acquisition of Osmose building in Strasbourg;

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