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European Parliament

Overview

  • Role: Directly-elected EU body with legislative, supervisory, and budgetary responsibilities
  • Members: 751 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament)
  • President: Antonio Tajani
  • Established in: 1952 as Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, 1962 as European Parliament, first direct elections in 1979
  • Location: Strasbourg (France), Brussels (Belgium), Luxembourg
  • Website: European Parliament

The European Parliament is the EU's law-making body. It is directly elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014.

What does the Parliament do?

The Parliament has 3 main roles:

Legislative

Supervisory

  • Democratic scrutiny of all EU institutions
  • Electing the Commission President and approving the Commission as a body. Possibility of voting a motion of censure, obliging the Commission to resign
  • Granting discharge, i.e. approving the way EU budgets have been spent
  • Examining citizens' petitions and setting up inquiries
  • Discussing monetary policy with the European Central Bank
  • Questioning Commission and Council
  • Election observations

Budgetary

  • Establishing the EU budget, together with the Council
  • Approving the EU's long-term budget, the "Multiannual Financial Framework"

More infographics

Composition

The number of MEPs for each country is roughly proportionate to its population, but this is by degressive proportionality: no country can have fewer than 6 or more than 96 MEPs and the total number cannot exceed 751 (750 plus the President). MEPs are grouped by political affiliation, not by nationality.

The President represents Parliament to other EU institutions and the outside world and gives the final go-ahead to the EU budget.

How does the Parliament work?

Parliament's work comprises two main stages:

  • Committees - to prepare legislation.
    The Parliament numbers 20 committees and two subcommittees, each handling a particular policy area. The committees examine proposals for legislation, and MEPs and political groups can put forward amendments or propose to reject a bill. These issues are also debated within the political groups.
  • Plenary sessions – to pass legislation.
    This is when all the MEPs gather in the chamber to give a final vote on the proposed legislation and the proposed amendments. Normally held in Strasbourg for four days a month, but sometimes there are additional sessions in Brussels.

The Parliament and you

If you want to ask the Parliament to act on a certain issue, you can petition it (either by post or online).

Petitions can cover any subject which comes under the EU's remit.

To submit a petition, you must be a citizen of an EU member state or be resident in the EU. Companies or other organisations must be based here.

Other ways of getting in touch with Parliament include contacting your local MEP or the European Parliament Information Office in your country.

Contact details: 

European Parliament (Brussels)

Contact details

Address: 

Rue Wiertz/Wiertzstraat 60

B-1047 Bruxelles/Brussel

Belgique/België

Tel: 
+32 2 284 21 11
Fax: 
+32 2 284 69 74
Visit: 

The European Parliament is the heart of democracy in the European Union, representing 500 million people.  Visiting the Brussels campus will explain how the European Parliament works and what it does for European Union citizens.

Type of visit: There are many activities at the European Parliament, such as individual and group visits, information sessions and a role play game for school groups.

All activities are free of charge and most are available in all official European Union languages.

Activities and places to visit include:

Group size: Individuals and groups, see activity webpages.

Advance booking requirement: Some activities require advance booking, see activities’ webpages for details.

Minimum age of visitors: Age restrictions vary, see activity webpages.

Visit the European Parliament - Brussels | Contact

European Parliament (Luxembourg)

European Parliament (Luxembourg)
Address: 

Plateau du Kirchberg

B.P. 1601

L-2929 Luxembourg

Tel: 
+ 352 4300 1
Fax: 
+ 352 4300 22457
Visit: 

The European Parliament in Luxembourg is home to the first Hemicycle debating chamber. The Luxembourg campus is primarily used for administrative work but it is also possible to visit.

Type of visit: information sessions on the European Parliament and the European institutions, as well as visits of the original Hemicycle. All visits are free of charge.

Group size: groups only between 20 to 50 people.

Advanced booking requirement: please book at least 8 weeks in advance.

Minimum age of visitors: 14 years old.

Visit the European Parliament - Luxembourg | Contact

 

European Parliament (Strasbourg)

European Parliament (Strasbourg)
Address: 

1, avenue du Président Robert Schuman

CS 91024

F-67070 Strasbourg Cedex

Tel: 
+33 3 88 17 40 01
Visit: 

Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament.

Type of visit: information sessions and full educational programmes are offered in Strasbourg. These are:

  • visits of the Hemicycle for individuals and groups when the European Parliament is meeting;
  • the Euroscola programme where students aged 16-18 and their teachers find out what it’s like to be a member of the European Parliament for the day.

Group size: groups should be between 15-50 people (larger groups can be welcomed on request).

Advanced booking requirement: please book at least 12 weeks in advance.

Minimum age of visitors: 14 years old.

Visit the European Parliament - Strasbourg | Contact