WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT?
The European Parliament is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at the EU level.
The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically.
For 2024-2029, there will be 720 MEPs or Members of the European Parliament elected in the 27 Member States of the European Union. Since 1979 MEPs have been elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year period.
The current European Parliament President is Roberta Metsola.
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705 current MEPs
(Members of the
HOW DOES THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WORK?
Members of the Parliament (MEPs) do not work alone, most of them join political groups based on their beliefs and priorities in order to have a greater impact on EU laws and policies.
Currently, there are 7 political groups in the European Parliament:
- Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)
- Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
- Renew Europe Group
- Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
- European Conservatives and Reformists Group
- Identity and Democracy Group
- The Left group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL
MEPs also join one or several of the 20 standing “committees” that work on various policies. For example, the Culture and Education Committee (CULT) is the one who usually works on legislative proposals related to the Erasmus+ programme. Their debates are held in public and can be webstreamed by everyone (check the upcoming live sessions).
Members of the European Parliament meet together once per month on average, in plenary sessions. During these sessions, they debate and vote on law proposals which have been prepared for months by the committees and political groups.
THE PARLIAMENT DO?
The parliament has 3 main roles.
Passing EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commission proposals and deciding on international agreements.
Examining citizens’ petitions and setting up inquiries; Electing the Commission President; Approving the Commission as a body and approving the way EU budgets have been spent.
Establishing the EU budget, together with the Council and approving the EU’s long-term budget, the “Multiannual Financial Framework”.