Wednesday

8th Dec 2021

MEPs vote themselves extra €1,500 allowance a month

  • German MEP Grassle: 'I cannot do the political or control work I have to do if I don't have more staff' (Photo: European Parliament)

MEPs have elected to boost their monthly allowance for staff and office expenses by €1,500, mirroring a similar move last year despite a widespread austerity drive in EU member states.

The decision by members of the European Parliament's budgetary committee on Thursday (3 March) will see the legislature's overall budget increase by almost €13.25 million in 2011.

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

MEPs from parliament's Socialist and centre-right European Peoples Party groups supported the proposed raise, while other groups said the decision was unjustified.

German Green MEP Helga Trupel said the move showed EU lawmakers were "clearly out of touch with fiscal realities ...[and] sent completely the wrong signal" to EU citizens. Portuguese far-left MEP Miguel Portas called the decision "misconceived".

Meanwhile, supporters say the extra allowance would enable the hiring of additional staff to tackle the growing workload under the EU's new Lisbon Treaty, in place since 1 December 2009.

"I cannot do the political or control work I have to do if I don't have more staff," said German centre-right MEP Ingeborg Grassle.

Euro deputies are paid €7,956.87 per month before tax, and an additional €300 for the days they officially sign in to work in Brussels or Strasbourg.

They also receive a monthly allowance of €19,709 for staff and other office expenses, with Thursday's decision set to increase this figure.

The move is unlikely to be welcomed in several corners of Europe as EU governments embark on a wave of spending cuts and tax increases.

Leaders from Britain, France and Germany late last year called for limits to be placed on future EU spending, while a commission and parliament request for a six percent increase to the EU's 2011 budget was eventually cut in half by member states.

In a sign that some in the EU institutions were beginning to take note, an internal memo written by commission secretary-general Catherine Day last month called on the EU body to change its culture of "entitlement" and "bureaucratic focus" and to embark on a new efficiency drive.

Catalan MEPs lose immunity, slam 'political persecution'

Catalan separatist MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí lost their parliamentary immunity - a result they have hailed as a "political victory" for bringing the conflict between Catalonia and Spain closer to the heart of Europe.

12-month Future EU Conference is 'impossible', expert warns

The debate about the much-delayed Conference on the Future of Europe so far has been locked in endless institutional infighting over who should lead the event - lowering the expectations about what can be achieved in the coming months.

Future of Europe: Nearly half of citizens want reforms

European Parliament president David Sassoli called for the Conference on the Future of Europe "to start as soon as possible". Meanwhile, nearly half of EU citizens would like to see reforms to the bloc.

EU parliament snubs anti-corruption researchers

Transparency International carried out three separate studies on integrity, of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council (representing member states). The European Parliament refused to cooperate.

Cyprus: a heavy caseload for new EU prosecutors office

The new European Public Prosecutor's office will become operational in March. It is tasked to carry out criminal fraud investigations of the EU budget. But of the 140 required European delegated prosecutors, only nine have so far set up office.

News in Brief

  1. EU agrees to sanction Russian mercenaries
  2. Germany asks Iran for realistic nuclear proposals
  3. US to send troops to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine
  4. Will EU follow US on China Olympics boycott?
  5. EU flight passengers dropped 73% in 2020
  6. EU 'biggest vaccine-donor in world', von der Leyen announces
  7. Majority of EU citizens worried about internet's impact
  8. Redesigned euro banknotes coming from 2024

MEPs chide Portugal and Council in EU prosecutor dispute

The Belgian and Bulgarian prosecutors who were appointed had also not been the experts' first choice. Belgian prosecutor Jean-Michel Verelst has challenged the council's decision at the European Court of Justice.

Latest News

  1. Denmark and Hungary oppose EU rules on minimum wages
  2. Slovenian corruption estimated at 13.5% of GDP
  3. Lithuania seeks EU protection from Chinese bullying
  4. Using Istanbul Convention to stop online abuse of women
  5. EU spends record €198bn on defence in 2020
  6. EU Parliament demands justice after 'anti-vax' attack on MEP
  7. Kaczyński and Le Pen make friends at anti-EU 'summit'
  8. Croat police kept handwritten logbook of likely pushbacks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us