Elections in the European Union take place every five years by universal adult suffrage. 785 MEPs are elected to the European Parliament which has been directly elected since 1979. No other body is directly elected although the Council of the European Union and European Council is largely composed of nationally elected officials.
|Member state||Seats||Member state||Seats|
Every year, tens of thousands of citizens from all parts of the European Union and elsewhere throughout the world write to the European Parliament to make suggestions, ask questions or make complaints. Residents of the United Kingdom count among the most interested and their varied contributions give an indication of their main preoccupations. The most frequently raised subjects are as follows
1. Questions concerning the powers, organisation and activities of the European Parliament and its Members.
2. Questions relating to national or local government responsibilities.
3. European Union legislation and internal market rules.
4. Human Rights and EU foreign policy.
5. EU institutional affairs and EU enlargement.
6. Financial and economic affairs.
7. Animal welfare issues.
Why vote ?:
By voting in EP elections, you choose who influences your future and the daily life of close to 500 million fellow Europeans. If you don’t bother, somebody else will - and decide who represents you at the only directly elected Pan-European assembly. Elected MEPs shape the future of Europe for 5 upcoming years. Get the Europe you want! If you don’t vote, don’t complain.
|UEN||Brian Crowley |
|G-EFA||Monica Frassoni |
|ID||Nigel Farage |
|Non-Inscrits||MEPs without group||30||Source: European Parliament|
The European Union has a multi-party system. Often no one party has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalitions known as "groups". However it should be noted that as no government is formed as a result of the elections, there are no permanent, formal coalitions.
The two major parties are the conservative European People's Party and socialist Party of European Socialists. They form the two largest groups, (called EPP-ED and PES respectively) along with other smaller parties. There are numerous other groups including Communists, Greens, Regionalists, National Conservatives, Liberals and Eurosceptics. Together they form the seven (from January 2007 to November 2007: eight) recognised groups in the parliament.MEPs that are not members of groups are known as non-inscrits.