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Last updated 22 Mar 2021
The EU Parliament is the supra-national Parliament of the EU. It has been elected every five years since 1979. PR systems are now used. In 2015 there were 751 MEPs, 73 of whom come from the UK. It is chaired by a speaker, who is also called the President.
The European Parliament is based in STRASBOURG, France, but meets there only infrequently. Most of its work is done in 20 permanent supervisory Committees, based in Brussels. The membership of these committees is allocated on the basis of party groupings, not nationality, and is heavily influenced by Pressure Groups. The Parliament’s Secretariat is, however, based in Luxembourg...so MEPs do a lot of travelling.
The European Parliaments’s powers were strengthened by the Lisbon Treaty. It can now amend legislation despite the opposition of the Commission and Council of Ministers if it has an absolute majority, veto legislation, confirm appointments to the Commission (this now requires an absolute majority), dismiss the entire Commission (not individual commissioners), reject the whole Budget (but not individual items), ask questions of the Commission and the C of M and establish investigative committees.