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The European Parliament in a nutshell

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The work of the European Parliament has a direct impact on citizens around Europe but who actually does what, where and how?

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There are 751 of them. They are Members of the European Parliament and they're elected for a five-year term to represent 508 million European citizens from across the 28 Member States.

The Parliament has two seats. Its formal seat is in Strasbourg where MEPs decamp for monthly plenary sessions. Its other seat is in Brussels where day-to-day groundwork and political and thematic group meetings take place. And finally, the Parliament's secretariat is based in Luxembourg. The European Parliament has three main powers: Legislative power. It passes European laws drawn up by the European Commission. It shares this power with the Council of the European Union which represents the Member States.

Budgetary power. Along with the Council, they approve and control the EU budget. Supervisory powers. To oversee other EU institutions and agencies. For example, MEPs hold hearings with nominees to the EU Commission and elect its President.

The European Parliament works closely with the European Commission, which draws up draft laws, and the 28 Member States via the Council of the European Union. From migration to food safety and data protection, the work of the European Parliament has a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens everywhere in the EU.

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