EU Parliament Meets In Strasbourg For First Time In 15 Months

(@FahadShabbir)

EU parliament meets in Strasbourg for first time in 15 months

Strasbourg, France, June 7 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Jun, 2021 ) :The European parliament on Monday opened its first session in Strasbourg since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, although few MEPs made the trip.

The return to Strasbourg is "a sign of confidence and hope for all," said David Sassoli, president of the parliament, to applause from the few MEPs present, most of them French.

Under normal circumstances the European parliament holds sessions in Brussels and the French city of Strasbourg, alternating between its two legislative centres.

However the last plenary session held in Strasbourg was back in February 2020. Since then, all parliamentary business has been carried out in Brussels.

European parliament speaker Jaume Duch called this week's session in Strasbourg "a very important step towards a more normal situation".

But the fact that the most Euro deputies chose to take part in the parliamentary votes remotely, from their own countries, showed that this was not business as usual.

Strasbourg mayor Fabienne Keller, herself an MEP, hailed "the return of European democracy".

The Alsace capital, symbol of Franco-German post-war reconciliation, is the official seat of the European parliament. But even before the Covid pandemic the MEPs would only come to Strasbourg for three and a half days a month for plenary sessions.

The cost -- and the carbon footprint -- of the shuttling between Brussels and Strasbourg has long been the subject of debate within the EU.