1.27 million Europeans have signed a petition supporting the Single Seat campaign, co-chaired by two Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament, Yorkshire Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott and German FDP MEP Alexander Alvaro.

West Midlands MEP Phil Bennion is backing calls for a Treaty change to scrap the European Parliament’s use of two different chambers, after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) quashed a bid by MEPs to reduce their Strasbourg sittings.

He said: “Shuttling MEPs and their staff and vast quantities of documents between Brussels and Strasbourg for four days every month is a huge waste of money, time and carbon. The monthly plenary sessions in Strasbourg cost an estimated €180 million (£150 million) per year. The extra 19,000 tonnes of CO2 is another big reason for change.

On 13th December the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in Case C-237/11 (Joined Cases C-237/11, C-238/11), France v European Parliament against a decision backed by a large majority of MEPs to reduce their Strasbourg sittings.

MEPs will now be looking at their new powers to initiate treaty change to secure a single seat for the Parliament but ultimately member governments have to agree.

In the last two years, MEPs have voted consistently and with increasing majorities for a Single Seat, reflecting the economic climate.

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