Tuesday

12th Dec 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Analysis

Suddenly, digital single market doesn't 'need' EU agency

EU digital commissioner Gabriel downplayed the rejection of the commission's plan for a strong EU telecommunications watchdog, highlighting that the elements of the digital single market are not set in stone.

News in Brief

  1. EU bank delays gas pipeline decision
  2. Hungary's leftwing parties join Jobbik in anti-Orban protest
  3. Barnier: EU will not accept UK backtracking on Brexit deal
  4. Puigdemont to return to Catalonia if elected
  5. Commission approves EasyJet partial takeover of Air Berlin
  6. EU medical command centre due next year
  7. Auditors: EU 'green' farm payments fail ecology criteria
  8. Austria gas explosion creates Italian energy 'emergency'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Last chance for Poland to return property to its rightful owners
  2. Commission attacks Tusk on 'anti-European' migrant plan
  3. Volkswagen tells EU: we will fail on our recall promise
  4. EU will not start Brexit future talks before March
  5. Bitcoin risky but 'limited phenomenon', says EU
  6. Panama Papers - start of sensible revolution in EU tax affairs?
  7. Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees
  8. New Polish PM brings same old government