quinta-feira, 2 de abril de 2015

European Parliament cuts cost and unprecedented contest opens

For 25 years the European Parliament gave the contract to exploit the restoration at the same company: the multinational Sodexo.

But, for the sake of transparency in the use of the budget paid by all taxpayers of the European Union, the home of MEPs will now launch a public tender for a new supplier.

The contest will open in June and the results known in the fall, according to David Sassoli, Vice-President of the European Parliament with the budget folder.

Sodexo will no longer have the monopoly to provide the services of canteens, restaurants and several bars scattered around the building. Until the supply of coffee machines should be assigned to those who do the best quality/price offer.

The contract, which until now did not include even the clause "business risk", attributed to the European Parliament â€" and not to the company â€" the costs derived from consumption of the products not available and cooked each day.

"Only with the introduction of this clause, we expect to save 1.6 billion euros", explained Sassoli.

Buildings and trucks

But this is just the tip of the iceberg: the current expenditure review will be done in all 28 buildings which are used for services related to the activities of the European Parliament.

Some will be modernised in order to comply with safety and efficiency criteria.

But the most sharp is the existence of dual headquarters, with the plenary meeting, once a month, in the building located in the French city of Strasbourg.

In addition to the maintenance costs involved, there are the costs-and pollution-linked to transportation, through trucks, of documents from one city to the other.

The fact that many MEPs put now a large part of these documents in portable personal computers makes the trucks often are half empty. The Vice President will carry out a questionnaire to see how it can be reduced this freight.

Wages of assistants

But the cuts didn't stop there, the cost of the salaries of assistants are also in their sights, having given birth recently, the scandal of alleged fraud carried out by members of the French nationalist party national front.

The case has highlighted the need to reduce the number of assistants in the country of origin of the MEPs. The Vice President mentioned the case of an elected by Romania which has 40 deputies in the country of origin and not in Brussels.

This is possible because each MEP has the wishes of more than 20 000 euros monthly for spending on personnel, in Brussels and in his constituency.

Despite these attempts at reduction of expenditure, this may increase in the order of 2.5% by 2016, due to the sum of the extraordinary spending on modernization of buildings with ordinary expenses, which include the annual increase of the salaries of assistants.

The political groups will decide on the budget by mid-April, with the plenary vote can occur at the end of this month. But the decision on the final amount will be taken only by the end of 2015, when it is known the total budget of all the European institutions for the following year.

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