European Law Monitor

Make your voice heard!

What Is the European Parliament?

The European Parliament is the largest multinational parliament in the world, and is made up of democratically elected Members of the European Parliament - MEPs.

The European Parliament has three main roles:

Power to Legislate

It shares with the Council the power to legislate. Currently, the European Parliament's involvement depends on which procedure the proposal is being assessed under. Under co-decision it has equal legislative power with the Council. However, under the other legislative procedures Parliament's role is more limited. The European Constitution, if adopted, would make co-decision the norm.

It has long been recognised that having a directly elected body involved in the legislative process, whose job it is to represent the people of Europe, helps to guarantee the democratic legitimacy of European law.

The European Parliament quite frequently gets proposals rejected, or returned to the Commission for redrafting.

MEPs are your democratically elected representitives in Europe, and their job is to take matters up on your behalf and scrutinise the conduct of the Commission.

Democratic Supervision

The European Parliament also exercises democratic supervision over all the EU institutions, particularly the Commission. It has the power to:

  • approve or reject the nomination of Commissioners, and
  • it has the right to remove from office the Commission as a whole.

Budgetary Authority

It shares with the Council authority over the EU budget, and can therefore influence EU spending. At the end of the budgetary procedure, it may adopt or reject the budget in its entirety.