European Parliament | EU Training

European Parliament

Overview of the European Parliament from a political, legal and practical perspective.  Explores how the EP works; who the MEPs are; EU policy decision-making processes; and how the EP is organised. Suitable for NGOs, businesses, civil representatives and public officials alike.

The European Parliament (EP) is the European Union’s only institution that has been directly elected since 1979. Given its high visibility, political nature and exciting structures, this course provides an in-depth yet easy-to-understand summary of its working methods for students, public affairs specialists, lawyers and others alike.

IMPORTANT: This course has been written in the assumption that the political agreement concerning the addition of 18 new Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to the current 736 MEPs will shortly come into effect, therefore we present the total number of MEPs as being already 754.

The course covers the following topics:

Overview of the European Parliament’s background and history

  • The balance of power between the EU institutions
  • The co-legislative role shared with the Council of Ministers
  • The origins from 1957 through 1979 until 2011

Who are the Members of the European Parliament (MEP)

  • Their role, election and functions Political groups in the EP
  • The President & the Parliamentary Committees
  • The Bureau, the Delegations & the Secretariat
  • The role of the European Parliament Its seat in Strasbourg, works in Brussels & Luxembourg

Legislation and deciding on EU-wide measures

  • The EP’s role in approving and supervising the EU budget
  • The European Parliament’s scrutiny in appointments to senior posts
  • Democratic oversight and control of the European institutions

Decision-making in the European Parliament

  • Preparation of new laws, amendments, modifications
  • Voting on EU legislation: procedures, budgetary procedure
  • A clear understanding of how European laws are passed
  • Who is a rapporteur, how amendments are tabled
  • Simple majority, absolute majority, special cases
  • Type of votes: show of hands, electronic, roll-call

The European Union and its citizens

  • The EP’s role Petitions and their role in making EU citizens’ voice heard
  • The European Ombudsman
  • How EU citizens can influence the EP’s agenda: European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)
  • Opinions, reports, resolutions and other tools