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SNP MEP and Party President Ian Hudghton has criticised today's European Court of Justice advice, which threatens to reverse MEPs attempts to curtail the European Parliament's monthly treks to Strasbourg.
Every month the European Parliament moves from Brussels to Strasbourg for just three days at huge expense to the taxpayer, and at significant environmental cost. Mr Hudghton is a long standing campaigner against this wasteful practice, and supported moves to cut back on the Strasbourg parliamentary sessions.
The Parliament has a European treaty obligation to meet in Strasbourg twelve times a year. But MEPs had tried to curtail this by holding two separate sessions in a single week. France and Luxembourg took the matter to court, and initial advice has been supportive of their position.
Reacting to today's announcement, the SNP President said:
"The European Parliament's monthly trek to Strasbourg and back is an enormous waste of time and money. With millions of people across Europe suffering severe financial hardship, this monthly madness cannot be justified any longer.
"The Strasbourg sessions cost the taxpayer upwards of two hundred million euros a year. It's estimated that cutting back on just one month's travel as we'd suggested, would have saved fifteen million euros and some 1600 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
"Many of us believe that our attempt to hold two separate parliamentary sessions in a single week is perfectly compatible with the EU treaties. I hope that the Court, when it delivers its verdict later this year, will uphold those treaties in the interests of Europe's citizens, rather than Europe's governments and vested