European Parliament

The European Parliament is the only directly-elected body of the European Union. The 736 Members of the European Parliament are there to represent you, the citizen. They are elected once every five years by voters right across the 27 Member States of the European Union on behalf of its 492 million citizens. The work of the European Parliament is important because in many policy areas, decisions on new European laws are made jointly by Parliament and the Council of Ministers, which represents Member States.

Parliament plays an active role in drafting legislation which has an impact on the daily lives of its citizens: For example, on environmental protection, consumer rights, equal opportunities, transport, and the free movement of workers, capital, services and goods. Parliament also has joint power with the Council over the annual budget of the European Union.

The European Parliament is the only supranational institution whose members are democratically elected by direct universal suffrage. It represents the people of the Member States. The European Parliament, which is elected every five years, is involved in drafting numerous laws (directives, regulations etc.) that affect the daily life of every citizen.