This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Glossary of summaries
The European Parliament (EP) is the only directly-elected EU body and one of the largest democratic assemblies in the world. Its 751 Members represent the EU's 500 million citizens. They are elected once every 5 years by voters from across the 28 EU countries. Its representatives are called Members of the European Parliament - MEPs.
Following the 2014 elections to the European Parliament (EP), with a turnout of only 42.54%, the seats are distributed between 8 different Parliamentary groups the EPP - Group of the European People's Party, the S&D - Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, the ECR - European Conservatives and Reformists, the ALDE - Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the Greens/EFA - Group of Greens/European Free Alliance, the GUE/NGL - European United Left/Nordic Green Left, the EFDD - Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group and the NI - Non-attached Members - Members not belonging to any political group.
The number of MEPs per country is set by a European Council decision adopted unanimously on the EP proposal. No country has fewer than 6 or more than 96 MEPs: Austria: 18, Belgium: 21, Bulgaria: 17, Croatia: 11, Cyprus: 6, Czech Republic: 21, Denmark: 13, Estonia: 6, Finland: 13, France: 74, Germany: 96, Greece: 21, Hungary: 21, Ireland: 11, Italy: 73, Latvia: 8, Lithuania: 11, Luxembourg: 6, Malta: 6, Netherlands: 26, Poland: 51, Portugal: 21, Romania: 32, Slovakia: 13, Slovenia: 8, Spain: 54, Sweden: 20, United Kingdom: 73.
The EP's main functions are as follows:
The Lisbon Treaty has strengthened the EP's role by placing it on an equal footing with the Council of Ministers. It has: