How many MEPs?
Since 1 July 2014 there have been 751 MEPs in the European Parliament, as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty.
Based on an EP proposal in February 2018, the European Council adopted in June 2018 a decision on the composition of the European Parliament. It sets out the number of representatives in each member state to be elected to the European Parliament for the 2019-2024 parliamentary term.
As long as the UK is still a member state, the current composition (751 MEPs) will continue to apply. Should the old composition (751) still apply at the beginning of the 9th term, the new composition will apply immediately at the later date of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (from 751 to 705 MEPs).
With the departure of the 73 British members, this reduction would leave room for possible future enlargements of the European Union.
Of the 73 seats vacated by the UK leaving the EU, 27 seats will be re-allocated to better reflect the principle of degressive proportionality. For member states granted additional seats in the new composition and 9th legislature of the EP, these seats would only become available after the UK’s departure.
The 27 seats will be distributed to France (+5), Spain (+5), Italy (+3), Netherlands (+3), Ireland (+2), Sweden (+1), Austria (+1), Denmark (+1), Finland (+1), Slovakia (+1), Croatia (+1), Estonia (+1), Poland (+1) and Romania (+1). No member state will lose any seats.
The proposal ensures that seats are distributed in an "objective, fair, durable and transparent way". In line with the Treaty on European Union,, the new distribution of seats respects the principle of "degressive proportionality", whereby larger member states have less seats than smaller ones in relation to their population; MEPs from larger member states represent more citizens than those from smaller ones.