Skip to Content

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

    Read more

    Brussels

    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.

    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 violation​s​ 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 del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Another gruesome murder shocks Germany

    A German woman, Sophia Lösche went missing on the 14th of June after she got in a truck while attempting to hitchhike from Leipzig to Amberg in Bavaria, according to investigators. Her body was found on Thursday evening near a petrol station just outside the Spanish city of Bilbao.

    World Cup is destroying UK’s anti-Russian propaganda

    The World Cup in Russia is turning out to be a stunning success and a PR disaster for Britain's anti-Russian cohorts. Even BBC sports journalists and pundits are ignoring propaganda narratives and going off-message to enthuse about everything Russian, especially the welcome they are receiving.

    Migrant accused of teen’s murder boasted about everything being free

    Ali B, the alleged murderer of a German teen, as well as his family raved to relatives back in Iraq that they would not have to work and that they would be given free money by the state.

    Matteo Salvini. Photo: matteoslavini.it

    Salvini calls for Roma census as top Vatican official heads for Bilderberg

    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Monday announced the intention of holding a special census of Roma people in Italy with the intention of closing all illegal Roma camps in the country.

    Head of German job centre caught rioting with extremists

    WuppertalThe German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is already well-stocked with leftists. But the chief of an urban job center has taken his ideology to the next level.

    Salvini blocks two more NGO vessels from entering Italian ports

    RomeOn Saturday Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini warned that another two migrant rescue vessels arriving from the Libyan coast would not be allowed to dock with their "human cargo" at an Italian port.

    Dutch teens are drinking themselves into a coma

    Dutch teenagers drinking themselves to the point of needing to be hospitalised rose again last year, the NRC said on Friday.

    Almost half of Syrian migrants suffer from mental illness Dutch study shows

    More than 40 percent of Syrian asylum applicants in the Netherlands have psychological problems like depression and anxiety or worse, according to a study by the Dutch social and cultural planning office SCP.

    Counter-terrorism gives green light to Wilders’ Mohammad cartoon contest

    Dutch PVV leader Geert Wilders has been given the green light to organise a Mohammed cartoon competition in the Dutch House of Representatives.

    Another teenage girl stabbed to death in Germany

    A Turkish migrant has turned himself in to German police, after the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl in the German town of Viersen, near Düsseldorf.

    Go to archive