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Grigore Marina IMAPA, gr.

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The European Parliament

who represent the second largest democratic electorate in the world .after the Parliament of India and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world (375 million eligible voters in 2009). it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world. Together with the Council of the European Union and the European Commission.• The European Parliament .is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union.Europarl or EP . The Parliament is currently composed of 754 Members of the European Parliament. .

Turnout in 2009 stood at 43% of all European voters. . and has been under 50% since 1999. ranging from 90% in Luxembourg and Belgium. where compulsory voting is used.• It has been directly elected every five years by universal suffrage since 1979. turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date. However. Turnout was under 50% in 18 out of 27 member states. to 20% in Slovakia.

the European Commission. it does not formally possess legislative initiative. Parliament elects the President of the Commission.• Although the European Parliament has legislative power that the Council and Commission do not possess. the executive body of the EU. is accountable to Parliament. It can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure. as most national parliaments of European Union member states do. Finally. and approves or rejects the appointment of the Commission as a whole. In particular. . • It likewise has equal control over the EU budget. Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU and shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council.

are a result of various agreements or lack of agreements. having no legislative powers. which have switched several times. One of the oldest common institutions. like the other institutions. • Its development since its foundation is a testament to the evolution of the union's structures without one clear "master plan". . Some such as Tom Reid of theWashington Post said of the union. Even the Parliament's two seats. "nobody would have deliberately designed a government as complex and as redundant as the EU". it began as the "Common Assembly" of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). was not designed in its current form when it first met on 10 September 1952.• The Parliament. It was a consultative assembly of 78 parliamentarians drawn from the national parliaments of member states. The change since its foundation was highlighted by Professor David Farrell of the University of Manchester.

They are elected every five years by universal adult suffrage and sit according to political allegiance. .. Maltese and Luxembourgian voters have roughly 10x more influence than citizens of the six large countries. • It is intended that the new system implemented under the Lisbon Treaty. However. the more citizens are represented per MEP. including revising the seating well before elections. Before 1979 they were appointed by their national parliaments. Thus. will avoid political horse trading when the allocations have to be revised to reflect demographic changes. i. as the President cannot vote while in the chair there will only be 750 voting members at any one time).• The parliamentarians are known in English as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). the larger the state. about a third are women. seats are allocated to each state according to population and the maximum number of members is set at 751. • Under the Lisbon Treaty. • The seats are distributed according to "degressive proportionality".e.

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. voting European laws to make their lives better and making the European Union accountable to them. debating the big European issues which matter to them.Mission Representing the citizens of Europe.

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the air you breathe.. Alliances are formed. sometimes to be reconciled. sometimes inglorious. in other words. it's the usual. the worker you employ. deals are struck.. the waste you discard. The car you drive. compromises made. sometimes glorious. business of democratic politics. a place where political ideas and ideals meet.Company Overview Members of the European Parliament make decisions which affect you directly. the bank you borrow from. . It is a place where people from 27 member states come together to disagree. the food you eat. the mobile phone in your pocket. The European Parliament is co-legislator for most of Europe's laws. the water you drink. sometimes to clash.

Did you know about it? • Parlamentarium • Parliamentwatch .