The European Parliament is the only multinational parliamentary assembly in the world and the only EU institution elected by the people. It represents approximately 500 million people in 28 EU Member States.
Elections take place every five years. In June 2009 elections have passed thirty years since people first deputy elected by direct universal suffrage. Note. The first direct elections to the European Parliament were held in 1979.
The European Parliament currently has 766 members from 28 EU member states. Ed., After the 2014 elections, the number of MEPs will be reduced to 751 (given by the Lisbon Treaty). Each country has an adequate number of seats in Parliament, according to its size. Most MPs come from Germany, at least from Malta.
Although the official seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France), EP carries out its activities in three locations: in Strasbourg, Brussels (Belgium) and Luxembourg (Luxembourg).
In Strasbourg once a month take place a plenary session of the EP (the public). At the plenary session MEPs decide what happens to European law.
In Brussels, held these committee meetings and meetings of political groups.In Luxembourg is the Secretariat of the EP
MEPs sit together according to their political affiliation, not under the jurisdiction of the state. Associate in political groups, which is 7 + EP attached Members. No political group has a majority in parliament – that’s why they have to work together.
The head of the EP is a chairman, who is elected at the inaugural meeting of the EP. It is elected for a term of two and a half years. The President represents Parliament in the other EU institutions and also in the world. He is assisted by 14 Vice-Presidents. EP President signed, together with the President of the Council, all legislative acts, which were approved in a joint decision. In 2009 as Chairman of the EP was elected Jerzy Buzek from Poland, as the first person from Eastern Europe. The current chairman is Martin Schulz of Germany.
Parliament has three main tasks:
-Together with the Council shares legislative power, eie. the power to legislate. The fact that Parliament is directly elected by EU citizens, helping to ensure the democratic legitimacy of European law.
-Parliament exercises democratic supervision over the other EU institutions, particularly over the Commission. It has the power to approve or reject the proposed President of the Commission and the Commissioner and the right to express no confidence in the Commission as a whole.
-Together with the Council controls the EU budget and can therefore influence EU spending. At the end of the budgetary process accept or reject the entire budget.