Brussels' European Parliament set for €455m renovation
The renovation of the European Parliament building in Brussels has been approved by the Bureau of the European Parliament, at an estimated cost of 455 million euros. Work is expected to begin in 2025. Alain Hutchinson, European Commissioner for Brussels, said the decision was "excellent news for Brussels", La Libre Belgique and BRUZZ reported on Tuesday.
The Bureau of the European Parliament - made up of the president, fourteen vice-presidents and five treasurers - took the final decision last week to proceed with the renovation of the Paul-Henri Spaak building on Luxembourg Square in Brussels. The renovation is necessary because the building no longer complies with safety and energy standards.
The estimated cost of the renovation is 455 million euros, to be funded by the European Union. The approved approach proved to be more economical than the proposal by JDS Architects, the winner of a competition, which proposed a transparent roof garden but was ultimately rejected.
The refurbishment will be carried out in phases, minimising the unavailability of the Brussels plenary chamber and reducing the overall cost compared to projects resulting from the original architectural competition. The renovation work is expected to start in 2025 and last until 2030.
The delay in reaching a decision was partly due to opposition from Strasbourg, where the European Parliament's second building is located. In addition, the Social-Democrat faction expressed concerns about the perception of a financially burdensome European Parliament. Despite these challenges, a decision has now been reached.
"This offers a very positive perspective in Brussels and confirms the anchoring of the European Parliament in the city"
"The Bureau has finally taken a decision. This offers a very positive perspective in Brussels and confirms the anchoring of the European Parliament in the city," Alain Hutchinson, Brussels Commissioner for Europe, told local news outlet BRUZZ. "The approach chosen is also advantageous, as it involves renovating the building rather than demolishing and rebuilding it."
© BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE