Creating new EU legislation can get complicated but a new interactive application on the EP website aims to make it easier to understand. The application takes you through the ordinary legislative procedure step by step. Under the procedure proposals are adopted jointly by the European Parliament and national governments sitting in the Council of the European Union and it is used for the vast majority of legislation. Try our new application to become an expert within minutes.
Take the opportunity to see where MEPs take their decisions every month when the European Parliament opens its doors to the public in Strasbourg, France, on Sunday 19 May. The day will be packed with activities for all ages and it will be a chance to find out more about how the EP works and how it affects people's lives every day. The open day is held to mark Europe Day, which is celebrated every year on 9 May. This year it is dedicated to you as 2013 is the European Year of Citizens.
MEPs will urge member states to step up the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion during the plenary session in Strasbourg from 20-23 May. They will also debate proposals on banking supervision in the EU, adopt a position on the upcoming negotiations for a free trade agreement with the US as well as vote on two draft resolutions concerning media freedom and improved media education. In addition Parliament will adopt a position on dates for next year's European elections.
People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT) continue to experience widespread discrimination and harassment, according to the largest survey ever conducted among the LGBT community in Europe. Nearly half (47%) of LGBT people said they had personally felt discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of sexual orientation in the past year, while one in four (26%) had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years. Find out the facts in our infographic.
It was dedicated to you and now it is in Brussels for you to see. The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the EU last year is on display at Parliament's visitors centre until 6 October. Inaugurating the exhibition, EP president Martin Schulz said: "Understand what kind of precious gift it is for all of us to live in the EU in an era of peace on a continent that was too long, too often, a continent of war, of hate, of racism, of xenophobia, of anti-Semitism."
The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate and the violence threatens to spread to neighbouring countries. MEPs will debate what can be done for the millions of refugees during next week's plenary session on 22 May. We spoke to Elmar Brok, a German member of the EPP group who is the chair of the foreign affairs committee, about the risks facing the region.
Mali's acting president Dioncounda Traoré will visit the EP on 16 May to discuss the military situation in his country and the elections scheduled for July 2013. The meeting is organised by Parliament's foreign affairs and development committees and the security and defence subcommittee and can be followed live on our website.
Strengthening air passenger rights, increasing the capacity of Europe's airports and the quality of their services, introducing more competition to EU's rail sector, as well as new rules for pilots' flying hours will keep MEPs busy for the rest of their term or even longer. Find out more about Parliament's work concerning travel–related issues in this feature.
The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize might have been awarded to the EU, but EP president Martin Schulz made very clear who the honour really belonged to: "This Nobel Peace Prize is for all EU citizens." He duly accepted the prize during the official ceremony in Oslo on behalf of everyone in the EU. You now have to chance to see your prize up close in Parlamentarium, the Parliament's visitors centre in Brussels, where the medal will be displayed until 6 October.
In this age of smartphones and social media protecting people's privacy has become more important than ever. The European Parliament is currently working on a major overhaul of EU data protection legislation that should ensure Europeans' data are safe online and offline. Follow our seminar on 14-15 May which brings together MEPs, experts and stakeholders and learn more about the issues at stake.