This high-profile campaign, co-chaired by the European Parliament Vice-Presidents Edward McMillan-Scott (Yorkshire & Humber, UK; Liberal Democrat) and Alexander Alvaro (FDP, Germany) and a steering committee of senior MEPs, tackles the issue of the divided seat of the European Parliament.
Currently the European Parliament is based both in Brussels as well as in Strasbourg.
The home of the Parliament is in Brussels, together with the other key EU bodies - the European Commission and the European Council.
At the same time, the official 'seat' of the Parliament is in Strasbourg.
As a result the entire European Parliament, together with a large part of their staff and all their documents and workload, is obliged by the EU governments to move there for 12 four-day sessions a year.
This creates a cost of €180 million, and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
In addition it provides Euro-skeptics with an example of the "bureaucracy of the EU". An issue which is a great stain to the Union, and for which it is constantly accused.
"The Single Seat" campaign would like to allow the European Parliament to have the right to decide on its own seat.
At a recent vote (23/10/12) the MEPs voted overwhelmingly for a single seat for the Parliament:
"50. Points to the significant savings that could be made if the EuropeanAnother benefit of having a single seat is that it will allow the wonderful buildings and facilities in Strasbourg to be used - at the moment they are empty most of the time as they are only being utilized four days a month.
Parliament were to have a single seat; urges the budgetary authority to
raise this issue in the negotiations on the next MFF 2014-2020; "
RECORDED VOTE (RCV): 672
+452 - 67%,
-180 - 27%
40 abstentions - 6%
Ideas of creating a large European university equivalent to Princeton, or Harvard, have been proposed, as well as creating a lower chamber of Parliament, which would be responsible directly for the regions of Europe.
Whatever the Strasbourg building is used for it would be better than staying empty. In addition saving hundreds of millions of euro, and tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 each year is yet another, would be quite nice in these times of austerity and a looming global warming. Not to mention the increased efficiency of the MEPs and eurocrats, which can just get on with their work for our continent.
If you would like to have your say on the seat of the European Parliament you can do so here: http://www.singleseat.eu/4.html