European politicians want to spend big on a 32-bedroom bolthole on the site of the former home of Jean Monnet, the father of the European Union, in France. They have drawn up plans to fork out more than £2 million on the guest house, according to internal documents seen by this website. European taxpayers already forked out for the purchase of the venue in 1982 and subsequent acquisition of some surrounding lands.
“The construction project is inspired by the architecture of the existing conference centre and harmoniously fits into the garden,” according to the plans.
“It maintains the lines and shapes of the traditional buildings of the region, respecting the urban planning regulations.
“The interior design reproduces the simple and warm atmosphere of the Jean Monnet House and represents a journey through the life of Jean Monnet in three key stages: 1920s, 1950s and 1970s.
“The capacity of 32 small bedrooms was confirmed in line with the expected needs.”
Funding is coming out of the EU’s current budget, meaning British taxpayers will have to fork out around £250,000 on the project as part of the Brexit divorce bill.
The plans were voted through by senior MEPs last month with Europe facing its worst recession since the end of the Second World War.
Mr Monnet’s former home is used as a venue for crunch negotiations between the bloc’s most senior officials.
Last year presidents Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and David Sassoli held talks there on the “future of the EU”.
It is also used as an “educational” facility, according to the European Parliament’s website.
“Jean Monnet House is a place to discover the life and work of one of the architects of today’s Europe,” it says.
“The interactive permanent exhibition introduces you to Jean Monnet and lets you explore his achievements up-close.
“Its multimedia activities show you his impact on today’s Europe and how the European institutions affect your life.”
Mr Monnet launched “Europe’s great experiment in supranational governance” in 1950 by creating a plan to coordinate the coal and steel industries of western Europe.
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Envisaging his dream of a European superstate in 1943, Mr Monet said: “There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted on the basis of national sovereignty.
“The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development.
“The European states must constitute themselves into a federation.”