Citizens’ Enquiries (Ask EP)
If you want to find out more about the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament, you can contact the Citizens' Enquiries Unit (Ask EP) using the form accessible below.
You ask, we answer
You can find a selection of recent topics of particular concern to citizens writing to the European Parliament and our respective answers.
What is the European Union doing to handle future epidemics of illnesses transmitted from animals to humans?
Citizens often turn to the European Parliament to ask what the European Union (EU) is doing to handle future epidemics of illnesses transmitted from animals to humans. Over the past decades, a number of diseases transmitted from animals to humans – known as zoonotic diseases – have resulted in various epidemics and pandemics. The coronavirus pandemic is the most notable, but previous examples include SARS, Ebola, avian influenza (‘bird flu’), and HIV/AIDS.
Ask EP 2021 – You asked, we answered!
In 2021, Ask EP received around 8 600 individual messages and 4 300 campaign enquiries. Citizens wrote on various topics, including the coronavirus pandemic, fundamental rights, migration and asylum, Afghanistan, Belarus, and many others. Ask EP also received many questions related to the European Parliament and its Members, its traineeship offers and how to visit Parliament.
Studying and learning abroadStudying and learning abroad
Citizens often turn to the European Parliament to ask how the European Union (EU) helps provide opportunities for citizens to study and learn abroad. Erasmus+ is the EU’s integrated education programme. Aiming to improve people’s skills and employability, it is open to people of all ages and occupations. The programme follows-up on many prior initiatives, which it combined and integrated.
Supply of computer chips and semiconductors
Citizens often turn to the European Parliament to ask what the European Union (EU) is doing to ensure a supply of microchips and semiconductors. Computer chips are ubiquitous. We use them in an impressive range of products, from computers to medical devices, 5G and artificial intelligence systems, and security and defence devices. The production of these chips is dependent on a large global supply chain in which countries all over the world participate. Disruptions in one part of the supply chain can lead to major problems. In 2020, a storm in Texas and fires in Taiwan and Japan, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, led to a global shortage in chips.
EU action against ‘fake news’
Citizens often turn to the European Parliament to ask what the European Union (EU) is doing to fight disinformation and the ‘infodemic’. A growing number of governments, as well as foreign and domestic non-state actors such as extremist movements, are using increasingly sophisticated techniques, including algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence to spread disinformation (meaning deliberately deceptive information) in Europe. With the war in Ukraine, foreign and particularly Russian actors are increasingly interfering in the media and on social networks. One of their main aims is to create confusion and polarise society, thus undermining democracy. The EU has stepped up its efforts to protect its democratic processes from manipulation.