Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
STRASBOURG PARLIAMENT Used by MEPs once a month Not in use for 307 days per year One chamber, 21 large and 13 small conference rooms with simultaneous translation facility 2,650 offices Cost of second chamber, 203m euros per year CO2 burden estimated at 20,268 tonnes per year "and probably much more"
Let's look at the actual calendar of the European Parliament:
12 four-day part-sessions in Strasbourg and six additional two-day part-sessions in Brussels
Okay, so it is true it is used once a month (for a 4-day week each time, for plenary sessions), but the Brussels parliament is used only once every other month (for 2-day "part-sessions").
* two weeks a month for meetings of parliamentary committees and interparliamentary delegations,
* one week a month for political group meetings
These happen almost exclusively in Brussels, that's true.
and four weeks a year where MEPs concentrate exclusively on constituency work.
and these generally don't happen (I would like to see a Spanish MEP meeting their "constituents". That would be a first).

See also the 2007 calendar (PDF).

So: of 365 days in the year, we have:

  • 5 weeks of vacation in July/August and two weeks over New Year: 51 days
  • 3-day weekends for the remaining 45 weeks minus 4 working fridays: 131 days
  • 4 constituency weeks (which are mysteriously assigned working Fridays): 20 days
  • 12 4-day plenary sessions in Strasbourg: 48 days
  • 12 parliamentary group weeks: 48 days
  • The rest for parliamentary committees and part-sessions in Brussels: 67 days

In other words: of the 365 days of the year:
  • 182 days "off"
  • 67 days of parliamentary work in Brussels
  • 48 days of parliamentary work in Strasbourg
  • 48 days of party work (mostly in Brussels)
  • 20 days of constituency work (neither Brussels nor Strasbourg)

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 05:20:10 AM EST
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