Sunday

3rd Dec 2023

EU parliament holds off on makeover of its building

  • A large-scale renovation or even the reconstruction of the parliament's building in Brussels would probably not sit well with voters (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Parliament will not order any grand-scale renovation or a rebuilding of its Brussels-based Paul Henri Spaak (PHS) building in the near future.

The so-called Bureau met on Monday evening (12 June) to discuss an assessment of the building's state.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The Bureau consists of parliament's president, Antonio Tajani, alongside 19 other MEPs, and is responsible for the parliament's organisational matters.

According to a press release issued on Tuesday, the Bureau decided to ask the parliament's secretary-general, Klaus Welle, to come with “detailed proposals on possible solutions for the refurbishment” of the PHS building, but “at a later stage”.

These proposals should look at “all potential options”, including “no action, renovation, and reconstruction”.

Brussels-based news website Politico reported on Monday, before the meeting, that the building does not meet the European building standards.

UK tabloid newspapers said on Monday that the UK could be forced to pay between £53 million (€60 million) and £58 million (€65 million) for the refurbishment.

However, these concerns now seem premature.

The PHS building was constructed in the 1990s and named after Paul Henri Spaak, one of Belgium's founding fathers of European integration.

'Crumbling' building

At a press conference about the EU's Erasmus+ education programme, when asked, Tajani only announced there would be “an official communique” on the refurbishment subject - which was published less than two hours later - but he would not comment further.

Bureau member Catherine Bearder, a British MEP from the Liberal Democrat party, told EUobserver on Tuesday that she had not attended Monday's meeting.

However, she did suggest some refurbishment would be reasonable, since the current building was “crumbling”.

But the Bureau members, who decided to hold off on any decision, will have considered that any costly project involving the EU parliament's premises might not sit well with voters.

The next EU elections are less than two years away - a preliminary date is set for 6 to 9 June 2019.

EUobserved

EU parliament's fading welcome

Two years ago Kurdish activists stormed the EU parliament, triggering new security measures. But they've led to visitors to have a bad first impression of the house of their democratic representation.

EU parliament staff object to canteen price hikes

The EP has stopped subsidising its self-service restaurant, leading to price increases for staff who choose to eat there. It was even discussed in the Committee on Budgetary Control.

EP to spend €8mn extra on security

A group of Kurdish demonstrators was able to storm the building last year. To prevent that from happening again, the EP will install three "defence lines".

Costs soar for EU's 'House of Europe' in Paris

The EU wants a 'House of Europe' in central Paris to "connect with citizens." The public will have access to the basement and ground floor, while the remaining five floors will be reserved for MEPs and the EU institutions.

Brussels denies having no 'concern' on Spain's amnesty law

The Spanish government remains secretive about its negotiations with pro-independence Catalans, but claims the EU Commission has "zero concerns" about their proposed amnesty law for Catalan separatists. The EU executive denies that.

Opinion

'Pay or okay?' — Facebook & Instagram vs the EU

Since last week, Mark Zuckerberg's Meta corporation is forcing its European users to either accept their intrusive privacy practices — or pay €156 per year to access Facebook and Instagram without tracking advertising.

Latest News

  1. Israel's EU ambassador: 'No clean way to do this operation'
  2. Brussels denies having no 'concern' on Spain's amnesty law
  3. Dubai's COP28 — a view from the ground
  4. Germany moves to criminalise NGO search-and-rescue missions
  5. Israel recalls ambassador to Spain in new diplomatic spat
  6. Migrant return bill 'obstructed' as EU states mull new position
  7. Paris and Berlin key to including rape in gender-violence directive
  8. What are the big money debates at COP28 UN climate summit?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  3. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  4. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?
  5. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  6. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us