Index European parliament Index
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Introduction In detail Archives
Parliament - an overview
Political role
Parliament and you
Child Abduction Mediator
Parliament near you
Citizens' enquiry service
Access to documents
Office for promotion of parliamentary democracy
Parliament and human rights
Defending human rights
Sakharov Prize
Parliament and European Union
Lisbon Treaty
Fundamental rights
Europe communicating the EU

Plenary documentsPlenary documents
Videos of plenary debatesVideos of plenary debates
The PresidentThe President
The Secretary GeneralThe Secretary General
Coming up in committeesComing up in committees
Think TankThink Tank

Parliament - an overview 

Welcome to the European Parliament

Thank you for visiting the official website of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament is the only directly-elected body of the European Union. The 736 Members of the European Parliament are there to represent you, the citizen. They are elected once every five years by voters right across the 27 Member States of the European Union on behalf of its 500 million citizens.

In this part of our website, you can find information on how the Parliament organises its work, through a system of specialised committees. The work of the European Parliament is important because in many policy areas, decisions on new European laws are made jointly by Parliament and the Council of Ministers, which represents Member States.

Parliament plays an active role in drafting legislation which has an impact on the daily lives of its citizens: For example, on environmental protection, consumer rights, equal opportunities, transport, and the free movement of workers, capital, services and goods. Parliament also has joint power with the Council over the annual budget of the European Union

If you would like a more in-depth look at the Parliament please click on the "in detail" icon for information on the internal bodies of the Parliament, and the rules of procedure and working practices.

Under the heading "The Parliament and You" there are a number of useful links for you to interact with Parliament as a citizen. This includes the right to write to Parliament with a question, to express your views, to receive all public documents. Should you wish to formally petition Parliament, you will also find all the necessary information here.

Perhaps you would like to visit the Parliament in Brussels or Strasbourg and see it in action for yourself? This part of the website provides full details on visiting, as well as on recruitment and traineeships.

If you click on 'in detail' you will find a guide to contracts and grants awarded and about invitations to tender, as well as a list of accredited lobbyists. Finally, by clicking on "Archives" you can access data on past European Parliament elections and our activities in previous years.

The President of the European Parliament
Political groups
EU portal (Europa)
European Ombudsman
Institutional Reform of the European Union