At his workplace, windows can be colored and doors can be opened electronically: now Deputy President of the European Parliament Rainer Wieland has to listen to harsh criticism. The Deputy President of the EU Parliament, Rainer Wieland (CDU), has been criticized for the high cost of converting his office. According to information from “Spiegel”, Wieland had his workplace converted for almost 630,000 euros. The magazine refers to an overview of the parliamentary administration. The modernization is said to have taken place as part of a so-called “idea laboratory” in which new office technology is to be tested. Among other things, windows in Wieland’s office should be able to be opened and closed at the touch of a button, the window panes can be tinted and the doors locked electronically. Setting up a room for online conferences is said to have cost around 135,000 euros. Around 490,000 euros were paid for the equipment, including 50,000 euros for demolition and conversion work.
The Green MEP and responsible rapporteur for the Budget Control Committee, Daniel Freund, criticized the renovation work: “Apparently someone has lost their grip on reality.” Apparently there was no specific cost estimate for the project, and the sums could not be communicated to European taxpayers. Wieland has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1997 and has been one of the Vice Presidents of Parliament since 2009. Since then, he has not only been responsible for the Parliament’s budget, but also for its buildings and infrastructure.
Wieland, on the other hand, defended the high costs: “It’s not about personal comfort, it’s about modern and efficient office technology that is later to be rolled out to all MPs.”
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