The old European Parliament passed its last laws in April, making a total of over 1,000 in 2009-2014. The new one, elected on 22-25 May, takes office on 1 July. Here is a brief overview of some of Parliament’s work over the past five years and what it will need to do in the next five.
Parliament passed 2,790 acts (1,071 laws and 1,719 related measures) in its seventh legislature (2009-2014). In 23,551 plenary (full house) votes, it passed 19,213 amendments and rejected 19,889 (final April session excluded). MEPs also tabled 58,840 written questions to other EU institutions. In committee, MEPs approved 2,110 texts and held 491 public hearings on issues of concern to EU citizens.
What parliaments cost
The European Parliament costs each EU citizen €3.10 per year (2011 figure). This includes the costs of translating and interpreting into 24 languages and running three places of work (Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg), as required by EU countries’ governments. For comparison, the German Bundestag costs each citizen €8.20, the French Assemblèe nationale €8.10 and UK House of Commons €7.30.
New MEPs’ in-trays
EU policies and use of taxpayers' money over the next five years will depend on the balance of power in the new European Parliament and the choice of a new President for the next European Commission. Both the balance and the choice will be determined by the May 2014 EU election results.
Escaping the crisis, the need to boost Europe's global competitiveness, with special attention to small firms’ needs, and measures to stimulate job creation are set to stay high on the agenda in the coming years.
Other issues likely to hit newly-elected MEPs’ in-trays include the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal now being negotiated with the USA, the EU’s long-term budget for 2014-2021, personal data protection, migration, energy and climate change and consumer affairs and safety.
The European Parliament welcomed 1,393,526 visitors in 2009-2013. The Parlamentarium had 790,395 visitors by 12.05.2014.
For further figures on the past legislature and more information on key issues for the new Parliament, please follow the links below.