The ABC of the European Parliament 


Share this page: 

Enlarge this picture: infographic illustration 
infographic illustration        
Find out more about how the Parliament operates in our infographic  

MEPs act as the voice of more than 500 million Europeans at the EU level, but how do they work and how do they organise themselves in the European Parliament? Check out our infographic for some basic facts about the Parliament.

The European Parliament is the only directly-elected EU body and one of the largest democratic assemblies in the world. Its 751 members are elected once every five years by voters from all 28 EU countries.

Political groups

MEPs are organised in transnational political groups, each made up of members from different countries but with similar political convictions. There are currently eight groups in the EP.

The groups are central to the work of Parliament asthey are key to building voting majorities on legislation, the budget and other issues. They set the parliamentary agenda and play the decisive role in choosing Parliament's president and other leading office-holders.


The Parliament currently boasts 20 committees, two subcommittees (namely for human rights and for security and defence) and one special committee (tax rulings). Special committees are temporary and work on specific issues within a set timeframe.