Being a good European citizen

Though I was in the European Parliament before, it was the first time last Saturday that I actually took a guided tour. Result: I was pretty disappointed. Contrary to the intensive one and a half hours tour I had in the Reichstag in 2006 or the relaxed visiting of the Belgian Parliament last year, the visit was 20 minutes short, the building was badly lighted and the guide was visibly stressed.

Still, some facts the guide mentioned were of interest:

  • 63 – Number of buildings the European Commission has in Brussels (Actually, it’s more: here is the full list)
  • 263€ – Cost of the Parliament per European citizen/year (or was it of the European Union in general?)
  • 550 – Number of journalists having a license for the European Parliament

I don’t know how the daily tours in the Parliament are but hopefully there are good because in my point of view, well done tours in the European Parliament could increase the acceptance of European politics – exactly the kind of thing European institutions are so worried about.

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2 responses to “Being a good European citizen

  1. Shuttling between Brussels and Strasbourg is (or was, I hope the Belgians know how to construct buildings that don’t come crashing down after a few years) expensive, but nevertheless it differs by three orders of magnitude from the annual budget of the EU as a whole.

    What I don’t understand is why I should increase my acceptance for European politics when even politics here at home can’t provoke more than lukewarm indifference.

  2. Well, there might be a good aspect in crashing ceilings as there are some serious movements in favour of a “one-seat” parliament.
    Actually, you can sign the online petition here: http://www.oneseat.eu/

    Regarding the guided tours, I think what they can foster is a better understanding of history and of how politics work. It’s not about an individual politician but about politics in general.

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