Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament 1999 - 2019

The European Parliament

What is it? What does it do?

The European Parliament is the only European institution directly elected by the citizens of Europe. Composed of 785 directly elected members from 27 Member States, the European Parliament is the largest multinational legislative parliament in the world. It meets in Strasbourg once a month in plenary and in Brussels for committees, political group and delegation meetings and mini plenary sessions.

The parliament represents 492 million citizens of the Union.


Subsequent Treaties have given the EP the power to amend and even veto proposed directives. Legislative power has progressed from the merely consultative role given to it by the Treaty of Rome (1957), where the Commission proposed and the Council decided legislation to the present situation where the Parliament and Council now share the power of decision in a large number of policy areas.          MEPs amend and adopt most EU legislation (about 75%) and give opinions on the rest. They call the Commission and Council of Minister to account. MEPs vote to approve each new President of the European Commission, they vote to ratify treaties between the EU and other states (accession treaties, association agreements)

Submitting a Petition:

A Petition may be defined as a complaint, a demand for action, or a request for review. The European Parliament's Committee on Petitions examines matters raised by citizens and takes appropriate action.

You may submit a petition if you are: What subjects can your petition deal with?: All cases must fall within the sphere of activities of the European Union.

More information about Petitions and the European Parliament in general can be found on the parliament's website at http://www.europarl.eu.int
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