Members of the European Parliament have the power to approve, amend or reject nearly all European Union legislation. Members of the European Parliament can hold the European Commission to account and can force members of the Commission to resign. MEP’s also decides on the European Union’s budget and can influence how EU money is spent.
MEP’s represent a much larger constituency within their respective country than a British MP would, for example. Each MEP is voted for by his/her constituents though turnout for these elections in some countries within the EU has been low. As with his British counterpart in the House of Commons, the primary function of a British MEP is to represent the views and concerns of his/her constituents in the European Parliament. However, when a vote is taken there is no guarantee that a MEP will vote as his/her constituents would have wished. While MEP’s might express the views and concerns of their constituents within the European Parliament, they have the right to vote as they see fit on an issue. Try visiting this great website.
A MEP is elected every five years. Elections for the European Parliament are based on proportional representation.
MEP’s can also sit and work within any one of twenty specialist policy committees. These twenty committees are:
- Foreign Affairs
- International Trade
- Budgetary Control
- Economic and Monetary Affairs
- Employment and Social Affairs
- Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
- Industry, Research and Energy
- Internal Market and Consumer Protection
- Transport and Tourism
- Regional Development
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Culture and Education
- Legal Affairs
- Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
- Constitutional Affairs
- Women’s Rights and Gender Equality