EU’s new HQ has a lot of glass but little transparency
The European Union wants to "bring joy" in a time of "populism". In Brussels, this "rage and eurocepsis" is going to be tackled by their brand new headquarters.
Published: June 21, 2017, 10:55 am
Already the EU Parliament has two seats — in Brussels and Strasbourg. For Eurosceptics a new building is a symbol of EU waste. The cost of the building has also increased over the development period from the original estimate of €240 million to over €320 million.
But with a new building, the EU hopes to bring “happiness” as a response to the growing anger towards Brussels. According to the architect, the property must also reflect Brussels’s transparency.
The European Parliament’s main building in Brussels was only 24 years old but its management had had enough. The building was completed in 1993 at a cost of 42 billion Belgian francs, or just over €1 billion.
A document marked “strictly confidential,” was leaked earlier to POLITICO, stating: “The Administration recommends that the structure should be rebuilt rather than reinforced.”
The Parliament’s administration claimed that it had weighed options that included refurbishing the building or a total rebuild. Either option is very hard to explain to EU taxpayers.
The conclusions of a report, conducted by German engineering consultancy TÜV Süd, recommended a new building, as did a second one, by CSTB of France, unsurprisingly. The old building, in its current state, did not meet European standards, aka “Eurocode” they said.
In the new building, the crisis of “populism” will be addressed. It will be a “futuristic” place with a large round office called a “space egg”. The building is environmentally friendly, and according to Belgian architect Philippe Samyn, will be a symbol of the union that the continent must continue to unite.
“I wanted to make a a joyful meeting place where people entering with a lot of problems can get some breathing space,” says Samyn. He added that it was also a “very clear message about transparency in the union: with all that is happening, people don’t realise the good that the European Union is giving to people”.
The cost was 321 million euros in 2016, said William Shapcott, director general at the Council of the European Union. “There will be a small overrun but nothing very dramatic,” Shapcott told The Telegraph, saying that it would be a “handful of percent”. But it is estimated to be much higher.
An architect in Brussels told FWM that this building was in the same price range per square meter as the new NATO HQ.
In the new EU headquarters the 3 750 windows are made of ultra-clear glass, but the symbolism is misleading. No ordinary voter will be able to see clearly through the decisions made in Brussels.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
Michael Stürzenberger, a controversial German politician, defended the decision by US President Trump to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The European Union will fuel the rise of anti-EU parties in Eastern states if they are forced to take in migrants against their will, the designated Czech Prime Minister has warned.
Last Thursday, traffic chaos prevailed throughout the German city of Leipzig. Many major roads were closed, some without notice. The chaos during the rush hour was a result of Interior Ministers meeting.
The Netherlands together with the Flemish speaking part of Belgium are a good case study in many of the problems of modern European nations – the struggle to protect one's own identity and way of life in the face of the EU super state's ambitions and mass immigration. There are however considerable differences between the two regions too. Free West Media visited both countries.
There is a dangerous contradiction in Britain's policies regarding jihadists, but little public debate on the matter. The serious question of returning ISIS fighters have received virtually no scrutiny, says one British commentator.
The African Union-European Union (AU-EU) summit, held in in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on November 29-30, 2017, ended in a complete failure to address a growing crisis.
The Head of State of self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky (pictured) has been forced to resign. His duties have been taken over by Head of the State Security Bureau Leonid Pasechnik. On November 21, armored vehicles rolled into Lugansk at the order of the Ministry of Interior and secured key buildings, assisted by a contingent sent by the neighboring Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). They proceeded in arresting associates of the Head of State Igor Plotnitsky, accusing them of being agents sent by Kiev. Free West Media's reporter was on site.
A Christmas market in France had to be cancelled because it could not afford the security costs amid Europe’s ever-growing terror threat.
HanoverIncumbent leader Jorg Meuthen won enough votes to keep his post, at the AfD party congress in Hanover, Germany, while Alexander Gauland returned to the co-leader post he had held since 2015.
A top British cleric has urged believers to pray for Prince George, aged 4 to find the love “of a fine young gentleman” to advance the cause of same-sex marriage in the Queen's church.