Information about the European Parliament, the role of an MEP, and who your MEP is.
The European Parliament is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at the EU level. The Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically.
Over the years and with subsequent changes in European treaties, the Parliament has acquired substantial legislative and budgetary powers that allow it to set, together with the representatives of the governments of the Member States in the Council, the direction in which the European project is heading. In doing so, the Parliament has sought to promote democracy and human rights – not only in Europe, but also throughout the world.
The European Parliament is made up of 751 Members elected in the 28 Member States of the enlarged European Union. Seats are allocated on the basis of population of each Member State.
MEPs are your representatives in the European Union. Their job is to represent your interests and those of your city or region in Europe. Where necessary, they question and lobby the Commission and the Council of Ministers. Above all, MEPs pass laws that affect many aspects of our lives, for example:
MEPs also have an important role to play on the big issues of our times such as climate change, human rights in the world and the way in which we regulate our financial markets.
MEPs divide their time between their constituencies, Strasbourg - where 12 plenary sittings a year are held - and Brussels, where they attend additional plenary sittings, as well as committee and political group meetings.
The terms and conditions for Members are laid out in the Statute of 2009.
There are 73 UK MEPs elected to the European Parliament following elections in May 2014. The UK is divided into twelve electoral regions made up of the nations and regions of the UK. Each region has between three and ten MEPs and each MEP in a region represents each person living there. The region which covers East Riding of Yorkshire is the Yorkshire and Humber region which has six MEPs:
To contact your local MEP, please visit the European Parliament Information Office website (external link) for more information.
For more information about Members of European Parliament or to make a complaint, please contact the European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom.
European Parliament Information Office (external link)
Europe House 32 Smith Square London SW1P 3EU Telephone: (020) 7227 4300