Understanding politics isn’t easy, let alone beginning to try to understand anything regarding Europe. With so much noise surrounding Europe and Brexit, getting simple facts on the issues is difficult. But this edition of Mastering Politics is going to give you the simple facts today – all about the European Parliament.
What is the European Parliament?
The European Parliament is the part of the European Union that creates laws and helps the EU function as an institution. It also works alongside the Council of the European Union (known as ‘The Council’) and the European Commission.
There are 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and elections are held every five years.
Who votes in the European Parliament elections?
1). MEPs: When voting for MEPs, it is citizens of the EU who vote. This is just like how we vote for Members of Parliament in the UK – we elect a representative for us in Parliament. Britain currently has 73 MEPs, most of which belong to The Brexit Party.
2). President of the European Commission: When it comes to voting for the President of the European Commission, who works closely with the Parliament, it is down to the European Council. They nominate someone for the role and their nomination is voted on by MEPs. If the MEPs approve of the nomination, they become the President of the European Commission.
What does the European Parliament do?
— Represents the citizens of the European Union;
— Supervises the EU’s budget;
— Works closely with the Council of the European Union to create and pass legislation, which represents all the governments that are part of the EU.