The European Parliament is the elected body of the European Union. The Parliament consists of 751 members elected by the people of the EU member states. The Members work in close unison with the Commission and the Council in shaping the laws and policies of the EU.
The European Parliament is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at the EU level. The Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically.
Over the years and with subsequent changes in European treaties, the Parliament has acquired substantial legislative and budgetary powers that allow it to set, together with the representatives of the governments of the Member States in the Council, the direction in which the European project is heading. In doing so, the Parliament has sought to promote democracy and human rights – not only in Europe, but also throughout the world.