Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected and represent the citizens of the EU. The Parliament is one of the EU’s main law-making institutions, along with the Council of the European Union.
Roles and responsibilities
In many areas, the European Parliament passes EU legislation jointly with the Council. Adoption of the EU budget is one such example.
In several other areas, the Parliament has a consultative role.
Furthermore, a number of decisions cannot be taken without the Parliament's consent. These include decisions on the accession of new countries to the EU and the appointment of the President and members of the European Commission.
The Parliament also has supervisory powers. It can set up a committee of inquiry if it considers that EU legislation is not correctly implemented.
European Parliament and the euro area
The Parliament is, together with the Council, a co-legislator in several policy areas relevant for the euro area. These include rules for multilateral surveillance of economic policies of EU member states and the regulation of financial services.
Most parliamentary work in these areas is carried out by the Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).
The President of the European Parliament may be invited to be heard at European Council and Euro Summit meetings.