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European Parliament: Agreement to Freeze Its Own Budget for 2013

(Mar. 1, 2012) On February 16, 2012, in response to the financial crisis that has hit the members of the euro zone, the European Parliament adopted a resolution, by a show of hands, to freeze its own budget for 2013. (Press Release, European Parliament to Freeze Its Own Budget for 2013 (Feb.16, 2012).)

An important measure designed to trim further costs is to freeze all personal allowances. Moreover, travel-related expenses will be frozen at the 2012 level. Members had already slashed the budget for travel by 5% for 2012. Members also requested that the Parliament's budget be subject to an independent evaluation. (Id.)

The Parliament's alternating seating between Strasbourg, which is its official seat, and Brussels and Luxembourg is one of its biggest expenses. Members adopted an amendment – with 329 votes in favor and 223 against, while 23 abstained – to establish a single seat for the Parliament. (Id.)

The Parliament's Bureau – consisting of the President, 14 Vice-Presidents, and 5 Quaestors who are responsible for financial matters – will draft the budget estimates for 2013 and forward them to the European Commission, which in turn will incorporate them into the annual draft budget. The draft budget will be sent to the Parliament and to the Council of the European Union for approval. (Id.)