Windows can be opened at the touch of a button, panes of glass tinted and doors secured electronically: The CDU politician and Vice President of Parliament Rainer Wieland had his office modernized as a so-called ideas laboratory for almost 630,000 euros, according to the parliamentary administration, as reported by the “Spiegel”. According to the administration, setting up a new multifunctional room for online conferences alone cost almost 135,000 euros. Almost 490,000 euros were spent on the conversion of Wieland’s own offices.
“The costs incurred here cannot be justified at this level,” said Green MEP Daniel Freund to the dpa press agency. It is right that new technologies are being tested in the EU Parliament. “Of course, that also has its price. But there is a taste in it when the chairman of the responsible working group tests all the innovations in his own office.”
Wieland defends himself: “The aim of the entire story is not to provide a member of parliament with a great facility, but the aim is to test office technology and interior design,” he told the dpa. He is responsible for building policy in Parliament. This includes testing things before expanding them to other offices. Half of the conversion costs went on the electronics alone. Now, however, the new one could be rolled out to the other offices on the floor for significantly less money. Wieland also pointed out that the room for online conferences is accessible to all MPs.