The European Parliament has 766 members, who are elected every five years by universal sufferage. It meets in Strasbourg and in Brussels and has offices in Luxembourg.
The EP does not formally possess legislative initiative, and is often criticized for having little real power, as it can only approve or reject the Commission as a whole. The parliament has been elected since 1979, but voter turnout has fallen gradually across the 28 member states. It shares legislative powers with the European Council and holds limited budgetary powers.
From next year on, the German taxpayer will be better protected from banks that go bust. That’s according to the federal government which passed legislation on Wednesday that at its core will bring Germany's banking rules in line with EU banking guidelines and regulate possible bank bail-outs in the future.
Italy took over the presidency of the European Union on July 1st. The country's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also represents the biggest national Party within the European Parliament. The European elections also strengthened Renzi's domestic mandate, since he took over as unelected Prime Minister from Enrico Letta in February this year. Megan Williams explains what's expected.
Following elections in May, the European parliament has taken a lurch to the right. One Party, the Danish People's Party, has taken a step towards greater respectability by being admitted to the mainstream European conservatives and reformists group of the parliament. So what does the DPP stand for? MEP Jorn Dohrmann explains.
Not everyone is viewing the results of last weekend's European Parliamentary elections as a sign that the EU is under siege by a growing right wing populist movement. Paul Taggart is Professor of Politics at Sussex University in England. He says the extent of euroskepticism is exaggerated.
The results of last weekend's European Parliamentary elections represent a shift in the political landscape across the continent. Anti-EU parties of the far right and the far left more than doubled their representation. Before we delve into the implications of the election results, let's hear the opinions of two journalists about the pros and cons of the EU – Nina Haase and Nathan Morley.