The Members of the European Parliament sit in political groups – they are not organised by nationality, but by political affiliation. There are currently 7 political groups in the European Parliament.
Each takes care of its own internal organisation by appointing a chair (or two co-chairs in the case of some groups), a bureau and a secretariat.
The places assigned to Members in the Chamber are decided by political affiliation, from left to right, by agreement with the group chairmen.
25 Members are needed to form a political group, and at least one-quarter of the Member States must be represented within the group. Members may not belong to more than one political group.
Some Members do not belong to any political group and are known as non-attached Members.
Before every vote in plenary the political groups scrutinise the reports drawn up by the parliamentary committees and table amendments to them.
The position adopted by the political group is arrived at by discussion within the group. No Member can be forced to vote in a particular way.