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European Parliament

18.05.2015 - Article

The European Parliament has been the directly elected body representing the people of the European Union since 1979. In most policy areas, it functions as a co‑legislator on an equal footing with the Council.

Part of the remit of the Federal Foreign Office is to collaborate closely with the European Parliament.

The European Parliament’s three main tasks are:

  • legislation (debating and adopting EU laws and regulations),
  • democratic scrutiny of other EU institutions, particularly the European Commission, and
  • adoption of the EU budget.

After the European elections of May 2014, the European Parliament convened for its eighth legislative term. Almost all of the 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) belong to one of the following seven political groups:

  • Group of the European People’s Party (EPP)
  • Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D)
  • European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)
  • Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
  • Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)
  • Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA)
  • Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFD2)

The 96 German MEPs belong to 14 different parties: 34 are from the Christian Democratic Union or Christian Social Union (29 CDU and 5 CSU), 27 from the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDP), 11 from Alliance 90/The Greens, seven from DIE LINKE, seven from Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), three from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and one each from the Pirate Party, the Freie Wähler, the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP), the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), Tierschutz, Familie and Die PARTEI. The President of the Parliament is German Social Democrat Martin Schulz.

The European Parliament’s official seat is Strasbourg, though part of the work of the Parliament is done in Brussels and Luxembourg.

The European Parliament´s own website is available via this link:

www.europarl.europa.eu

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