The European Parliament
The European Parliament represents the citizens of the Member States at EU level. It is the only European institution to be directly elected - a procedure established in June 1979 - and the only multi-national parliament in the world to be voted in through universal suffrage.
The 736 Members of the European Parliament are elected once every five years by voters right across the 27 Member States of the European Union on behalf of its 500 million citizens.
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.
EP Standing Committees
Parliament has set up 20 standing committees to prepare work for plenary sittings. They are divided into sectors: foreign affairs, development, international trade, budgets, etc. and each has powers appropriate to its area of expertise. The committees are responsible for preparing Parliament’s plenary session work. Their task is to draw up reports on legislative proposals that have been referred to Parliament or on which Parliament has been consulted and on own-initiative reports.
- Committee on International Trade
- Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
- Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
- Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection
- European Elections 2009 - Results
- European Elections 2009
- Decision-making in the European Union
- Powers of the European Parliament
- Treaties of the European Union