The Members of the European Parliament 

The European Parliament is made up of 720 Members elected in the 27 Member States of the European Union.

MEPs sitting inside the plenary chamber during a European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg 

How to become an MEP?

Since 1979 MEPs have been elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year period.

Each country decides on the form its election will take. All electoral systems are based on proportional representation, which means that the number of MEPs elected from a political party is proportional to the number of votes it receives.

The next European elections will be held on 6-9 June. A total of 720 MEPs will be elected, 15 more compared to the previous elections.

Visit the European elections website and sign up for voting reminders.

How are seats allocated?

The number of MEPs elected from each EU country is agreed before each election and is based on the principle of degressive proportionality, which means each MEP from a larger country represents more people than an MEP from a smaller country.

MEPs are organised by political affinity, not nationality, and join political groups that have representatives from many countries Check out the number of MEPs by country and by political group.

Around 40% of MEPs were women in February 2024. Learn more in our infographic on women in the European Parliament.

Find out more about individual MEPs and their parliamentary activity on the MEPs website.

What do MEPs do? 

MEPs represent the interests of EU citizens. They play a key role in shaping EU rules as they amend and vote on legislative proposals put forward by the European Commission and negotiate the final text with the Council representing EU countries. They can also call on the Commission to propose legislation and take a stand on issues by adopting resolutions.
Beside legislative work, MEPs:

  • oversee the work of the Commission and other EU institutions
  • scrutinise the implementation of EU policies
  • decide on the annual budget together with the Council, and monitor the use of EU funds
  • vote to elect the president of the Commission, and approve the whole line-up of commissioners.
  • have the right to dismiss the Commission.
    In their conduct, MEPs have to follow rules on ethics and transparency.