The European Parliament is the directly elected
parliamentary institution of the European Union .
Together with the Council of the European Union
(the Council) and the European Commission, it
exercises the legislative function of the EU.
It has been directly elected every five years by
universal suffrage since 1979.
The President of the European Parliament is
Martin Schulz (S&D), elected in January 2012.
He presides over a multi-party chamber: the two
largest groups are the Group of the European
People's Party (EPP) and the Progressive
Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D).
The last union-wide elections were the 2009
The European Parliament has three places of
work – Brussels (Belgium), Luxembourg and
Strasbourg (France). Luxembourg is home to the
administrative offices (the 'General Secretariat').
Meetings of the whole Parliament ('plenary
sessions') take place in Strasbourg and in
Brussels. Committee meetings are held in
General Secretariat of the European
the Parliament have not the power of legislative
initiative. In Community matters, this is a power
uniquely reserved for the European Commission
(the executive). Parliament can amend and reject
legislation. To make a proposal for legislation, it
needs the Commission to draft a bill before
anything can become law.
With each new treaty, the powers of the
Parliament, in terms of its role in the Union's
legislative procedures, have expanded.
The legislative branch officially holds the Union's
The President of the European Commission is
proposed by the European Council on the basis of
the European elections to Parliament. That
proposal has to be approved by the Parliament
(by a simple majority) who "elect" the President
according to the treaties. Following the approval
of the Commission President, the members of the
Commission are proposed by the President in
accord with the member-states.
The Parliament also has the power to censure the
Commission if they have a two-thirds majority
which will force the resignation of the entire
Commission from office.
European elections 2009
Blue: Europe's People
50: number of
Of parliament elected
In every country.
EPP - European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
S&D - Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in Europe
ALDE - Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (liberal)
EUL/NGL - European United Left-Nordic Green Left (left-wing)
Greens/EFA - Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens and
ECR - European Conservatives and Reformists Group (right-
EFD - Europe of Freedom and Democracy (Eurosceptic)
NA - Non-attached (MEPs not part of any group)
The European Parliament now has seven political groups. The
two largest are the centre-right European People’s Party and the
Socialists & Democrats.
Joseph Paul, head of
the European People’s
in the European
Joseph Paul, France.
Martin Schultz (Germany)
In 2004 he was first
elected leader of the
after the 2009
elections he was
confirmed as the
leader of the
Democrats in the
Alliance of Liberals and
Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
In June 2009 he was
elected to the EP for
the first time.
Guy Verhofstadt (Flanders, Belgium)
European Conservatives and
(Poland). Elected by
Law and Justice
Confederal Group of the European
United Left - Nordic Green Left
Europe of Freedom and Democracy
(Italy) is co-Chair with
Nigel Farage (UK).
Speroni (elected by Lega Nord Party and
Farage elected by United Kingdom
Greens/ European Free Alliance
20th March, 2014, survey.
This projection of seats
in the European
Parliament is based on a
non exhaustive collection
of weekly European and
national polls carried out
in the 28 EU member
The final and official
composition of the new
will only be known by its
constitutive session on 1-
3 July 2014.