19 September 2006
“It costs European taxpayers approximately 200 million euros a year to move the Parliament between Brussels/Belgium and Strasbourg/France. As a citizen of the European Union, I want the European Parliament to be located only in Brussels.”
This is what it states on the one-seat campaign web-site. This website campaigning for a single seat of the European Parliament located in Brussels has yesterday reached its aim, namely, to attain more than 1 million signatures!
The UEF welcomes this great success as this is the first initiative ever to reach 1 million signatures. Article 47 on participatory democracy in the proposed constitution wants the citizens in the European Union to become more active and to participate in the debate on European issues. According to this article, a petition accounting for 1 million signatures from European citizens has to be taken into account by the Commission.
The UEF strongly supports the one-seat campaign initiative as it emanates from the citizens, thus making it even more legitimate. Therefore, UEF demands that the citizens’ voice should be respected and that the Commission should now undertake concrete measures to follow-up.
“This is a first example of cross-border information and cooperation on a campaign asking for the citizens’ contribution. Its success is the living evidence that there is a direct demand from the citizens to use this kind of tools” says Dr. Friedhelm Frischenschlager, UEF Secretary-General. Indeed, this campaign’s great achievement proves that citizens want to get involved in and asked about European matters. Such tools should definitely be used more often, especially during the period of reflection.
Note to editors
The UEF, founded in 1946, is an independent and non-governmental European organisation, campaigning for a federal Europe. Since April 2005, it is presided over by Mrs. Mercedes BRESSO, President of the Italian Region of Piedmont, Member of the EU Committee of the Regions.