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European Parliament


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

WebsiteEuropean 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:


  • Passing EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commissionproposals
  • Deciding on international agreements
  • Deciding on enlargements
  • Reviewing the Commission’s work programme and asking it to propose legislation


  • 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


  • Establishing the EU budget, together with the Council
  • Approving the EU’s long-term budget, the “Multiannual Financial Framework”

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