What is the European Parliament? 

The European Parliament (EP) is one of the European Union’s seven institutions. It is the EU’s directly elected legislative assembly. EU countries hold elections every five years to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that represent hundreds of millions of citizens. The number of overall MEPs will increase to 720, up from 705 before. Two additional seats were attributed to France, Spain, Netherlands; one each to Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Ireland, Slovenia, and Latvia.

Parliamentarians amend and approve EU legislation jointly with the Council of the European Union (EU Member State governments), including the multiannual and annual budget. The EP holds other EU institutions, like the European Commission, to account.

MEPs also elect the President of the European Commission and play a key role in vetting Commissioner-designates through individual hearings. They then choose whether to approve the College of Commissioners - how one refers to the twenty-seven commissioners collectively - through a consent vote.