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European Parliament

European Parliament
8th European Parliament
Coat of arms or logo
Leadership
Antonio Tajani, EPP
Since 17 January 2017
Leader of largest
political group
Manfred Weber, EPP
Since 4 June 2014
Leader of 2nd largest
political group
Gianni Pittella, S&D
Since 1 July 2014
Structure
Seats 751 MEPs
European Parliament as of June 2015.svg
Political groups
Committees
Length of term
5 years
Elections
Party list, STV and First-past-the-post
Last election
22–25 May 2014
Next election
2019
Meeting place
European Parliament, Plenar hall.jpg
1st: Louise Weiss: Strasbourg, France (image)
2nd: Espace Léopold: Brussels, Belgium
Secretariat: Luxembourg & Brussels
Website
europarl.europa.eu

The European Parliament (EP) is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU). Together with the Council of the European Union (the Council) and the European Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU. The Parliament is composed of 751 (previously 766) members, 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 has been directly elected every five years by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, and has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters.

Although the European Parliament has legislative power that the Council and Commission do not possess, it does not formally possess legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of European Union member states do. The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU (mentioned first in the treaties, having ceremonial precedence over all authority at European level), and shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council (except in a few areas where the special legislative procedures apply). It likewise has equal control over the EU budget. Finally, the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, and approves (or rejects) the appointment of the Commission as a whole. It can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure.


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Wikipedia

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