Welcome to the  European Parliament 

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Front view of the Parliament building in Strasbourg and waving flags from EU Member States        

The European Parliament

The Parliament represents 450 million people who live in the European Union.

The European Union is known as the EU.

People in the EU vote for 705 members to represent them in the Parliament.

Members of the European Parliament are called MEPs.

MEPs look at plans for new EU laws.

MEPs change laws to make them better.

MEPs check how the EU is working.

View of the plenary in the hemicycle in Strasbourg        

What the European Parliament does

The Parliament adopts new EU laws with the Council.

The Council represents governments of countries that are part of the EU.

The Parliament and the Council also decide on the EU budget.

The Parliament checks the work of all the organisations that help run the EU.

MEPs vote on trade agreements with countries outside the EU.

MEPs voting raising their hands in the hemicycle in Strasbourg        

How the European Parliament works


Most MEPs work in political groups.

Groups are made up of MEPs from different countries and different political parties.

The groups have common aims.


The Parliament has 20 permanent committees.

MEPs work in committees.

Committees come up with reports on proposed new EU laws.

They propose improvements to laws.

The committees vote on these proposals.

Plenary sessions

Then the whole Parliament votes on new laws during plenary sessions.

Plenaries bring all MEPs together.

They debate and vote on new laws.

MEPs elect a president to represent the Parliament.

The president also chairs plenary sessions.

The president is elected for two and a half years.

A person putting a ballot in a ballot box        

Cast your vote

You can vote for people to represent you in the Parliament.

European elections take place every five years in all EU countries.

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Stay informed

The Parliament has at least one office in every EU country.

You can visit these offices.

View of the Parliament building in Strasbourg from across the river canal        

Visit the European Parliament

You can visit the Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels.