This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Europe's Costly Double Parliament: A Movable Beast

The scenes at the Brussels end point to what makes the dual legislature something of a movable beast.

On the eve of the great migration, big boxes are lined up all along the offices of the 754 legislators, ready for the reams of paperwork, background notes, extra bottles of water, even winter boots, that are to be loaded onto trucks on Friday evening to be driven in convoys to Strasbourg and unloaded at offices the lawmakers' use for the four-day session.

"It can happen that you would be sitting there and say, 'wow,' I miss this crucial document because we didn't think about putting it in the box," Alvaro said.

And spare a thought for the lobbyists, most of whom do not enjoy EU parliamentarians' elite perks, such as high-speed travel and generous wining and dining budgets.

Shut out of the parliamentary Thalys train service, environmental lobbyist Saskia Richartz was forced to take the slow one into Strasbourg, a 5-hour, 15-minute commute without even coffee service on board.

A half-hour after arriving, she was still standing in a long line waiting for a cab, dragging a huge mock cod in one hand and a mackerel in the other, for a Greenpeace demonstration later in the week. "It would be so much better to have it all in Brussels," said Richartz, one of the 6,000 to 8,000 people to make the commute.

From her office at city hall across a rainy and wind-swept town, Catherine Trautmann could not disagree more.

A former Strasbourg mayor and current EU parliamentarian, the Frenchwoman has a unique, if slanted, perspective: "The calling of a European parliamentarian is to move around," she said. "That we travel is only logical."

Trautmann did acknowledge the severe limitations of Strasbourg's regional airport with its few direct flights to any European capitals. And she promised new connections to places like London and Rome within the coming months.

2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $94.19 0.00%
FB $118.06 0.00%
GOOG $695.70 0.00%
TSLA $222.56 0.00%
YHOO $36.00 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
NASDAQ 4,725.6390 -37.5850 -0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs