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

  • FG MEPs congratulate Taoiseach Leo Varadkar +

    The four Fine Gael MEPs have congratulated Leo Varadkar on his election as An Taoiseach today (Wednesday). Seán Kelly, Mairead Read More
  • The end of extortionate roaming charges - Seán Kelly MEP +

    From today (Thursday), extortionate mobile roaming charges will be a thing of the past thanks to the European Union, according Read More
  • MEP Kelly criticises Parliament position on 2030 target – would lead to a poor use of Irish taxpayer's money +

    MEP for Ireland South and Energy Committee rapporteur for the European People’s Party (EPP) on the 2030 climate targets, Seán Read More
  • Foróige wins the European Citizen's Prize - nominated by Fine Gael MEPs +

    Fine Gael MEPs Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Hayes and Deirdre Clune have congratulated Ireland's leading youth organisation, Foróige, on Read More
  • Enda Kenny: A hero in Europe who brought Ireland back from the brink +

    The Leader of the Fine Gael Delegation in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly MEP, has paid tribute to An Taoiseach Read More
  • Kelly hosts EPP Brexit meeting in Wicklow +

    Leader of the Fine Gael Delegation in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly MEP, is hosting a meeting of MEPs belonging Read More
  • MEP Kelly hosts Limerick event to mobilise investment for Irish business +

    The EU Investment Plan - Opportunities for the Regions - Friday, 28 April, 9am-11am, Limerick Seán Kelly MEP is bringing EU funding Read More
  • Roam like at home: Final hurdle to abolish roaming fees today – Seán Kelly MEP +

    "The European Parliament will today ensure that we cross the final hurdle to abolish mobile roaming charges in the EU," Read More
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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
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