Friday January 14, 2022
Conversion costs over half a million
The Vice President of the European Parliament builds an expensive high-tech office
More and more people are enjoying smart homes, where everything from the heating to the windows can be controlled via cell phone. Rainer Wieland also seems to be a technology fan: According to one report, the Vice President of the European Parliament owns a high-tech office – for more than half a million euros.
Vice President Rainer Wieland has been criticized for the high cost of converting his office at the seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This is reported by the “Spiegel”. According to an overview of the parliamentary administration, the extensive modernization, in which innovative office technology is to be tested as part of a so-called ideas laboratory, has so far devoured almost 630,000 euros. In the office of the CDU politician, windows can be opened at the push of a button, glass panes can be tinted and doors secured electronically.
According to the article, just under 490,000 euros have so far been spent on modern furniture and innovative building technology. More than 50,000 euros were incurred for the demolition and conversion work alone, during which Wieland’s office was moved to the top floor of the Brussels Parliament building and significantly expanded. According to the administration, almost 135,000 euros have been paid for setting up a so-called multifunctional room for online conferences and video recordings.
The Green MEP Daniel Freund, responsible rapporteur in the Budget Control Committee, criticizes Wieland sharply. Apparently there was “no specific cost estimate” for the project, according to the draft of his report for the EU Parliament. These are sums that cannot be conveyed to Europe’s taxpayers. “Apparently someone lost their grip on the ground,” he said, according to the report. “Projects like this can reinforce old prejudices that MPs in Brussels already have enough privileges.”
Wieland, on the other hand, defended the expensive renovation work in his office as an important project to the magazine. “It’s not about personal comfort, it’s about modern and efficient office technology that will later be rolled out to all MPs,” he said. “Testing costs money, but not testing also costs money.”