The European Parliament

 

SUMMARY OF:

Article 14 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)

Articles 223-234 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) — role, composition and functioning of the European Parliament

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE ARTICLES?

They set out the role, competences, composition, mandate and electoral procedure for the European Parliament (hereafter ‘Parliament’).

KEY POINTS

The Parliament is the institution in the European Union directly elected by EU citizens, for EU citizens. It therefore represents the more than 500 million EU citizens and in this sense embodies democratic power. It has its seat in Strasbourg (France). Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are elected for a term of 5 years by direct election (since 1979) in a free and secret ballot, with a set number from each EU country. Parliament, as it is known nowadays, is actually the result of the merger of the 3 former Assemblies of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) (1965 Merger Treaty).

Powers

The Parliament’s powers have developed through successive revisions to the European Treaties. These include:

Competences

Legislation

Budget

The Parliament operates on an equal footing with the Council for the entire procedure of adopting the annual EU budget. The budgetary procedure consists of one reading each from Parliament and Council, or otherwise a conciliation committee is convened to reach an agreement on a joint text (Article 314 TFEU).

Executive oversight

The Parliament can exercise a number of controls on the Commission, the EU’s executive branch:

Treaty revision

Composition

The allocation of seats between EU countries takes into account a number of factors:

Upon Parliament’s initiative and with its approval, the European Council unanimously adopts a decision establishing Parliament’s composition (Article 14(2) TEU). The EU Treaties set out the basic rules on its composition:

SUMMARY TABLE

Treaty

Articles

Subject

Treaty on European Union (TEU)

14

Role and composition of Parliament

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)

223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234

Functioning of the European Parliament

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union — Title III — Provisions on the institutions — Article 14 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 22-23)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 1-388)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Protocol No 6 on the location of the seats of the institutions and of certain bodies, offices, agencies and departments of the EU (Sole Article (a)) (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 265)

European Council Decision 2013/312/EU of 28 June 2013 establishing the composition of the European Parliament (OJ L 181, 29.6.2013, pp. 57-58)

last update 15.12.2017