BRUSSELS – European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to meet only in Brussels and avoid costly monthly treks to Strasbourg, France, but such a move faces a French veto.
Legislators have two offices and shuttle their staffs for meetings of the full Parliament in Strasbourg, a practice that comes from the beginnings of the bloc when France and Germany wanted to find an emblem for their postwar reconciliation.
Critics argue the practice is illogical, expensive and unnecessary. In a 483 to 141 vote, legislators said Parliament should be allowed to decide where it meets.
But the proposal must be approved by the 28 EU governments and France is certain to nix any change under the current conditions.
The EU spends some 180 million euros ($245 million) a year for the monthly four-day move.