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 updated 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 as they 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.


Committees


The Parliament currently boasts 20 committees, two subcommittees (namely for human rights and for security and defence) and two inquiry committees to investigate the revelations in the Panama papers as well as how emissions are measured in the car industry. Inquiry committees are temporary and work on specific issues within a set timeframe.


Originally published on 16 November 2015, the article and the infographic have been updated to reflect new developments.