In 1958, the Parliamentary Assembly while searching for its headquarters started holding its plenary meetings in Strasbourg (the building of the Council of Europe) and Luxembourg, while its committee meetings were held in Brussels. Since 1981, only the plenary meeting is held in Strasbourg , and the split between the three cities was confirmed over the coming years (McCormick, 2011 B , p.206).
The paradox was reinforced when the two homes to the European Parliament were built
- in 1999, the French government built the Louise Weiss plenary chamber in Strasbourg
- in 2009, the Espace Leopold was completed in Brussels
(McCormick, 2011 B, p.206).
For historical reasons, up until today, the plenary sessions of the European Parliament are held in Strasbourg, while the parliamentary committees and the administrative secretariat are based in Brussels.
Watch the video ‘EU Parliament’s journeys from Strasbourg to Brussels’ and find out why it is hard to change this: