Europe

How EU institutions work: European Parliament

  • 9 November 2010
  • From the section Europe

The parliament is the only directly elected body in the European Union.

It holds regular plenary sessions in Strasbourg, and has a secretariat in Luxembourg, but members of the parliament do most of their work in Brussels. This is where they examine draft legislations in committees and consult with the Commission and Council of Ministers.

The parliament has the power to sack the Commission, it holds hearings on new commissioners, and has the last word on about half the spending in the EU annual budget. Its powers have been steadily increasing.

Most EU legislation now needs the approval of both parliament and the Council of Ministers before it becomes law.

Guide to the European Parliament

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