The European Parliament is comprised of members who are directly elected by voters in the European Union (EU) every five years, with the sole role of representing the people. The European Parliament is one of the EU’s main law-making institutions, along with the Council of the European Union.
The European Parliament has three main roles:
- Debating and passing European laws, with the Council;
- Scrutinising other EU institutions, particularly the Commission, to make sure they are working democratically;
- Debating and adopting the EU’s budget, with the Council.
The Parliament is composed of 751 Members of the European Parliament, known as MEPs, which are organised in different european political parties:
- Group of the European People’s Party (EPP Group) of Christian democratic and conservative orientation;
- Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) of social democratic orientation;
- Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE/ADLE) of liberal centrist orientation;
- European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) of conservative, anti-federalist and eurosceptic orientation;
- European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) of socialist and communist orientation;
- Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) of green and minority politics and regionalist orientation;
- Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD or EFD) of eurosceptic orientation.
Currently the majority is held by a coalition between EPP, S&D and ALDE.