The Members of the European Parliament
The European Parliament is made up of 705 Members elected in the 27 Member States of the enlarged European Union. 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, but must guarantee equality of the sexes and a secret ballot. EU elections are by proportional representation.
Seats are allocated on the basis of population of each Member State. Slightly more than a third of MEPs are women. MEPs are grouped by political affinity, not nationality.