How does the European Parliament work?

The European Parliament represents people in Europe’s decision-making. What does that mean in practice? This chapter looks at who does what, where and how.

It starts with a presentation of the essential facts then explores specific topics such as the EU law-making process — including links with other EU institutions — and how political parties work together. It also includes information about less well-known aspects of MEPs’ work, including diplomatic outreach and Parliamentary committees.

The European Parliament in a nutshell

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

Law-making in the EU

The checks and balances which help guarantee a representative process.

At home with the European institutions

Keep finding yourself in a muddle about the role played by each of Europe's main institutions? Take a speedy tour of the houses with EPTV.

President of the European Parliament

Who, what, how, and with what kind of power? A short introduction to the post of the President of the European Parliament.

What is an MEP?

An animated guide to the essential facts about Members of the European Parliament.

Between party lines: Political groups

If you invite 751 people to a party, you need to find the best way to organise it. Or you could do what the European Parliament does and have eight different parties! The Parliament's 751 members and the groups they belong to represent views across the European Union’s political spectrum. This short animation explains how these political groups are set up and what their MEPs do.

Explaining the committee

From budgets to foreign affairs, the European Parliament tackles many complex issues. If all 751 members were to debate these issues together, there would be too many cooks in the kitchen! The Parliament found a better recipe for decision making by creating a number of committees. Satisfy your appetite for knowledge by learning more about Parliament committees and their activities.

Investigating the bureau: A European Parliament body

The bureau is involved in the financial, administrative and organisational matters of the European Parliament. And yet, I bet you still feel like you don't know enough about it. Who is part of the bureau? And what exactly are they responsible for? This animation demystifies an influential wing of the European project.

EP delegations, actors with a global reach

EU accession criteria, conflict resolution, economic ties... MEP delegations work on these and many other topics when they meet with their counterparts from around the world.

A Global Actor - The European Parliament's Impact Abroad

A short look at how the European Parliament, in cooperation with other EU institutions, is protecting and promoting the values and interests of European citizens worldwide.