European Parliament
in action
Highlights 1999-2004

Parliament - an overview
Elections to the EP
How the Parliament works
and other procedures
Budgetary powers
Budgetary control
Democratic oversight
Statute of Members and
of European political parties
Temporary committees
and committees of inquiry
Other EU institutions
Reform of the EU
Citizens' rights
Justice and home affairs
External relations
Environment /
Consumer protection
Transport / Regional policy
Agriculture / Fisheries
and monetary policy
Employment and social policy / Women's rights
Internal market / Industry / Energy / Research

EPP-ED PSE Group ELDR GUE/NGL The Greens| European Free Alliance UEN EDD/PDE

Citizens - go to the polls!
Since 1979, European citizens have been able to choose who represents them at the European Parliament. MEPs are elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year period under a procedure which, w...
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How the European Parliament works
When the newly elected Members of the European Parliament take office, they will have to join a political group, pick the committees on which they wish to serve, choose the leader of their group and...
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A fully-fledged law-making body
What does the European Parliament do? As in any democracy, it monitors the executive and the use of public funds and passes laws. Initially, however, its role within the Community was rather different...
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The European Parliament's budgetary powers
Ever since the European Community came into being, MEPs have done their best to see that the taxpayer's money is used wisely by ensuring that the Community adopts a responsible budget. Since the lat...
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Checking the taxpayer's money is well spent
When the Santer Commission was forced to step down in 1999 the shockwaves rippled round Europe. The resignation of the 20 Commissioners came after the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Co...
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Parliamentary scrutiny - a democratic necessity
The resignation of the European Commission under Jacques Santer in 1999 and the Eurostat affair in 2003 have highlighted the importance of the European Parliament's supervisory role. These two high-pr...
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No to Statute for MEPs -
Yes to Statute for European parties
Some features of the European Parliament's work are still surprisingly "national" rather than "European" in character. MEPs are not all paid the same salary. Instead they are paid by their home countr...
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Parliamentary inquiries
The European Parliament set up two committees of inquiry in 1996-1997, one on the Community transit system and the other, which created a greater stir, on the handling of the 'mad cow' crisis. In the ...
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The EU institutions
The European Union is not a federation like the United States or a cooperation body like the United Nations. It is a political, legal and institutional entity, unique of its kind. Its Member States ...
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  Publishing deadline: 2 April 2004