The European Parliament comprises 751 elected Members with serious legislative, budgetary and decision-making powers.

Parliament enjoys co-decision powers in major areas of EU law-making, including health, education, transport, agriculture, fisheries and the completion of the internal market. The Parliament plays an active role in monitoring activities within the European Commission and the European Council, and is closely involved in appointing the Commission as well as discharging the EU's annual budget.

The Lisbon Treaty has brought about further changes including a strengthened role for the European Parliament and national Parliaments, more opportunities for citizens to have their voices heard through the European Citizens' Initiative, and a clearer delineation of competencies at European and national level.

Election of the Parliament

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were first elected by direct universal suffrage in 1979; European elections have been held ever since at five year intervals - the last one being in May 2014. A common set of election rules apply throughout Europe. All MEPs are elected under a system of proportional representation; every citizen has a right to vote at 18; equality of men and women is guaranteed and the principle of the secret ballot is written into European election law. Additionally, every EU citizen who lives in another country of the EU may vote or stand for election in their country of residence. Parliament thus expresses the democratic will of the Union's 503 million citizens and represents their interests in the creation of European laws.

Learn more at the Parliament's website.

Newsletter

News & Events

  • Irish border agreement a “massive achievement” - MEP Kelly +

    “Today’s agreement is a massive achievement for the Irish government, for the EU27, but mostly for citizens who want to Read More
  • Disability Federation of Ireland at the European Parliament +

    It was a great pleasure to welcome members of the Disability Federation of Ireland to the Parliament today with my Read More
  • Brexit: "EPP standing firm with Ireland on border" - MEP Kelly +

    Seán Kelly MEP, leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, has thanked the European People's Party (EPP) Group for Read More
  • GAA is example for EU: Kelly launches European Platform for Traditional Sports and Games +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament officially launched the European Platform for Traditional Sports Read More
  • MEP Kelly receives backing for Ireland’s firm stance on border from EPP Group +

    MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament has this morning reiterated the importance of Read More
  • MEP Kelly to raise Shannon Foynes Port with An Taoiseach +

    “Shannon Foynes Port has massive economic potential and is of vital importance to Limerick, Cork, Clare but also to Ireland Read More
  • Ireland-South group hosted in Brussels by MEP Seán Kelly +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament was joined this week in Brussels by Ireland Read More
  • Kelly secures EU Parliament agreement on renewable energy target +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament today secured the backing of MEPs on an Read More
  • 1

Jargon Buster

  • Special EU Programmes Body +

    Special EU Programmes Body ... In 1994, following the announcement of the IRA Ceasefire, the then President of the Commission Jacques Delors, Read More
  • European Financial Stability Fund +

    European Financial Stability Fund ... On the night of the 9th of May 2010, the European Council - the summit of EU leaders, Read More
  • Erasmus Programme +

    Erasmus Programme ... Travel broadens the mind and education fills it, so what better way to expand your horizons than to travel Read More
  • Leonardo da Vinci +

    Leonardo da Vinci is arguably history's most famous artist and inventor, known equally for the Mona Lisa as for providing blueprints Read More
  • Rapporteur +

    Rapporteur is a word often heard around the European Parliament. Derived from the French, it simply means "author of a report". Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.